I am a Registered Nurse with the College of Nurses of Ontario. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Ottawa and a Diploma in Early childhood education from Centennial College.
I possess over ten years of experience working with older adults in Long Term Care homes at various levels.
I have experience working as a Charge Nurse, Nurse Manager and Director of Care in Long Term Care setting. As a Director of Nursing Care, I was accountable for the provision of quality care and services for the residents.
I am currently enrolled as a Master’s student in Health Sciences and part of the maxSimhealth group at Ontario Tech University.
The City of Oshawa has funded my research project through the TeachingCity initiative. The project focuses on the research and development of a novel experiential learning and teaching tool to teach age-friendly culture competencies to the city of Oshawa and OSCC55+. This project contributes to the larger vision of making the City of Oshawa, an age-friendly community.
Using community-based participatory research to build an innovative virtual environment to enhance age-friendly cultural competencies
Pamela Mutombo, Ontario Tech University, Canada
The City of Oshawa, in 2020, joined the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. As part of the age-friendly city initiative, the City and the Oshawa Seniors Community Centres 55+ (OSCC55+) employ an age‐friendly “lens” to inform the delivery of programs and services. To further support the age-friendly lens, the City recognized the need to provide standardizing training for employees that incorporated age-friendly competencies. The Seniors’ Cultural Competency Virtual Learning Environment (SCCVLE) was developed to provide a comprehensive teaching and learning opportunity for the City and OSCC55+ employees. The SCCVLE is an innovative tool that offers educational content built into a serious game coupled with competency-based assessments delivered through a custom Gamified Educational Network (GEN) learning management system.
We used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) model to guide our work. The model consists of four dimensions: i) context, ii) partnerships process, iii) intervention and research, and iv) outcomes. The context was addressed through initial literature reviews and discussions between the partners: The City of Oshawa, the OSCC55+, and Ontario Tech University. The partnership was part of a TeachingCity Oshawa collaboration and the process was articulated by a contractual agreement outlining the organizational commitments, funding, priorities, governance and milestones. The partners agreed to develop and test the SCCVLE. The City and OSCC55+ served as content experts, while the university research group was tasked with technology development of the educational tool and validation research. We used iterative, end-point user design cycles to develop the content and supporting technology, where the City and OSCC55+ verified every step of the development.
The content and technology development were accomplished through bi-weekly, 1-hour meetings attended by six members of the team: one from the City, one from the OSCC55+, and three from the university (technology developer, nurse, and researcher). The educational content within the SCCVLE was organized in six modules adapted from the WHO international age-friendly framework and the Oshawa Age-Friendly Strategy. All six modules contain multimodal instructional methods. The SCCVLE couples serious gaming with GEN. The serious game offers a dialogue-based interactive game with a virtual older adult, allowing employees to practice the skills acquired. GEN fosters a collaborative learning experience, enabling employees to interact and engage with colleagues, instructor(s) and expert(s) in open discussion. Initial validity and usability tests demonstrate that the content is accurate and the SCCVLE is user-friendly.
The SCCVLE offers a framework to teach and assess age-friendly cultural competencies. We envision that the SCCVLE will enhance an age-friendly cultural competency among staff members, enabling them to provide services and programs that meet Oshawa’s older adults’ needs. Thus, SCCVLE contributes to the larger strategy to ensure the City of Oshawa is an age-friendly city. Furthermore, the SCCVLE provides an online, self-directed age-friendly cultural competencies training that responds to the need for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we are completing our design and development phase, our next steps involve the experimental phase to assess the effectiveness and usability of SCCVLE with the City and OSCC55+ employees.