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Professional Portfolio

Opioid Management for Acute Pain

Opioid Management for Acute Pain

This was an online learning module we developed for UW Medicine physicians in response to the growing problems of opioid use in the country. In the module, we took scenarios to bring home general principles. Instead of the traditional online learning design strategy of “hook the audience, tell them what you want them to learn, have them practice, then test them,” we instead flipped the model and had them learn through doing. They are thrown right into a case from the beginning and are asked to make decisions along the way. Each question or interaction is a decision point, not an assessment, and they learn through feedback to their choices.

Page of the content draft, bulleted lists and lots of text.


We began the project with a content draft (pictured to the right) of paragraphs, lists, and tables all of information related to the principles of safe opioid management. This content contained the a set of behavioral outcomes—the things we wanted physicians to do when prescribing opioids after taking this module. From this draft, we began to discuss the behavioral outcomes and the best way to create a change in practice for physicians who took the module. Rather than dictate principles, we decide to focus on scenarios through which learners would engage with patients and discover the principles through action.

That led us into the first content organization meeting. During that meeting, we took the key content and put it onto stickies, beginning to organize it into a coherent story. We came out with four main scenarios that hit on the behavioral outcomes of the module. A draft of the affinity map is below.

An affinity map: sticky notes of content organized into scenarios

From the affinity map, we began prototyping and testing. We completed the first two scenarios and tested those on some residents and fellows. Having learned what was working and not working, we cleaned up those scenarios and then began work on the final two, before doing our second round of usability testing. After much revisions from that round, we did one final short round with one participant, gathered some offline feedback from key stakeholders, and printed and placed all the screens from the module up on a wall and went through to confirm we had everything ready to go.

Screens of the module laid out by scenario.

My Role

As the instructional designer, I organized the content meetings and guided the SMEs through activities like the affinity mapping. I developed many mockups to help communicate ideas to the subject matter experts (SMEs) and to the user experience (UX) designer. However, the higher fidelity prototypes were done by the UX designer.

As one of the project managers, I focused primarily on the development side of the project. I created the Project Timeline, and helped clarify tasks and deliverables along the way.

Gantt chart of the project stages from October 2015 through December 2016