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When I ...

Using the When I... Card Deck

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Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this activity, learners will:

  1. Differentiate beliefs and behaviors needed for individual versus collaborative practice.
  2. Construct a list of characteristics for both individual and collaborative practice and justify the reasoning.
  3. Assess alternative possibilities for how a particular behavior or belief might be categorized.


Using the When I… Deck

  1. Assemble students into teams of 5-6 using some method to ensure diversity/interprofessionalism on each team.
  2. Provide each team with a When I… sorter deck. Remove information cards, such as direction and debriefing cards from the deck.  Also remove two cards printed in red ink. These cards will serve as the titles to two columns.
  3. Have teams sort the remaining cards into the appropriate columns (headed by the red ink cards.) Some answers are intentionally ambiguous to evoke discussion among team members.
  4. Have members from varying teams share their responses and how the team arrived at those decisions. Invite other teams to challenge them by suggesting alternatives and discuss.


When using this activity, it is not necessary to debrief every possible combination in the cards.  Asking participating teams to identify one paired set of cards opens possibilities for longer discussions that may be based on other teams' answers being significantly different.  The purpose here is not to discover correct answers, but rather to evoke discussion.


Small Group, Medium Group


Minimal Equipment - RFUMS When I ... Card Deck


One Hour



Exploring practice orientation

We know that some people have an easier time than others in working on teams. What we don’t know for certain is whether this is due to dispositional or personality characteristics, or whether it may be an unfamiliarity with needed skills.

Debrief Questions

  1. In what ways do you think being collaborative practice with other members of a team differs from being in solo practice in your chosen profession. In what ways might they be similar?
  2. What skills might someone in collaborative practice need that may not be as prevalent or necessary in solo practice?
  3. What does the evidence tell us about collaborative practice orientation in relationship to patient safety?


Reflecting on preparation

As you think about academic and clinical preparation for practice, consider how a given experience might influence a provider in the long term. There is a long-standing debate about the efficacy of attempting to teach pre-professional learners about collaborative and/or interprofessional work.

Debrief Questions

  1. Describe how you believe a student learner early in their academic preparation for healthcare practice might view coursework related to teamwork, communication, and relational issues.
  2. What skills do you think are most important for someone in healthcare today?
  3. How has completing this exercise impacted your thinking on solo versus collaborative practice?


Preparation for healthcare practice involves learning clinical skills relevant to one’s discipline. Preparation for team-based practice, however, requires additional skills. When I… invites learners to think about how their practice will be different by asking them to categorize attitudes, behaviors, and values related to how they will do their work.


For more information about how to utilize games, low-fidelity simulation, and interactive learning to teach concepts of teamwork and collaboration, contact

Related Tags

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