Connecting Classrooms, Clinicians, and Community Clinics Through Technology (C4Tech) for Active and Collaborative Learning

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association








PURPOSE: This pilot study investigated the level of cognition that physician assistant (PA) students achieved through adoption of an innovative blended learning model that connects the classroom, clinicians, and community clinics through electronic-learning (e-learning) technologies (C4Tech) used in a PA course. This education intervention aimed to facilitate authentic learning collaborations between PA students and practicing clinicians that would result in higher-order cognition related to the manifestations of social determinants of health and health disparities. METHODS: A case study approach was adopted to assess levels of cognition and changes in those levels resulting from application of an innovative blended learning model. Content analysis using Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive domains facilitated determination levels of cognition and changes in those levels. The sample of 8 groups comprised 70 PA students and 8 clinical instructors from community clinics with underrepresented patient populations. RESULTS: Analysis of 2 course assignments revealed that application of the C4Tech model yields high levels of cognition. By the course's end, all 8 groups achieved at least the "evaluate" level of cognition and half of the groups achieved the highest level of cognition, the "create" level. A wide variation in the level of cognition was demonstrated between the first and second assignments in each group and among groups. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that e-learning technologies can be effective in blending classrooms and work environments for authentic and collaborative learning. Adoption of the C4Tech model yielded higher-order cognition related to course content.

Peer Reviewed


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