All posts by Catrice Barrett

Penn Medicine and Wharton Learning Lab Simulation at Penn Libraries

Penn Presbyterian Management Team with Sarah Toms (Wharton Learning Lab) in the Collaborative Classroom
(left to right) Sarah Toms, DuWayne Barrett and the Penn Presbyterian Patient Access management team in the Collaborative Classroom
Patient Access managers strategize together in WIC study room

DuWayne Barrett leads the Patient Access department at Penn Presbyterian Hospital.  Managing an annual flow of over 40,000 out-patient and 14,000 in-patient encounters, the department is the access portal for every patient entering the hospital.  DuWayne had been searching for a dynamic team-building and learning experience for the Patient Access management team.  Sarah Toms, IT Director of the Wharton Learning Lab, had the perfect solution: simulation.

On Thursday, June 25 DuWayne’s team of 15 managers gathered in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom to play the OPEQ simulation game.  Originally developed by Wharton professor Maurice Schweitzer, OPEQ allows players to work in teams to experiment with dynamics of cooperation and competition.

Face-to-face negotiation session

Members of the Patient Access Management Team, working in pairs, broke out into the WIC group study rooms to assume the role of oil production leaders for a fictitious country. Together, all teams’ choices have an impact on the global economy.  With each subsequent level of the simulation, unexpected events are introduced, increasing the tension and complexity of the game.  Still, players must exercise strategic negotiation and communication skills in order to cooperate with their partner and with other “countries” through virtual and face-to-face meetings.

Simulations offer exciting, interactive experiences that truly change the way students and professionals learn.  Wharton Learning Lab simulations are not just limited to Wharton students and faculty.  A range of simulations are available to suit a variety of learning objectives across all disciplines. If you or faculty you support are interested in using simulated experiential learning, please visit the Wharton Learning Lab’s website.  You will find a full catalog of simulation offerings and contact information to get started.

Sarah Toms leads team debrief in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom

Fear and Safety at Penn: A Collaborative Student Research Exhibit

Dr. Rosemary Frasso, Al Golinkoff (TA) and graduate student research team – Qualitative Research Methods for Social Work (SW 781)

Research seldom happens in silos.  Be it through the literature review, data collection, or publication, group collaboration is the ingredient that brings new ideas and perspectives to the research process.  It is with this spirit that Dr. Rosemary Frasso (Rosie), Al Golinkoff (TA), and the student researchers of the Qualitative Methods graduate course for Social Work and Public Health students took teamwork to new heights this spring in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom.

From the start, the student researchers employed qualitative methods (Nominal Group Technique) to collectively determine the research topic of “fear and safety” at Penn. Next, each individual student-researcher conducted 5 intercept Freelisting interviews across campus to explore the topic. Using the full 360 degrees of writable whiteboard surfaces in the Collaborative Classroom, students began the process of analyzing Freelisting data to identify salient themes.

Student researchers begin organizing Freelisting data in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom

Inspired by the work of Drs. Carolyn Cannuscio, Mariana Chilton, and Gala True, Rosie designed this class project employing Photo Elicitation interviewing.  Students later made use of this same technique to further explore the meaning of fear and safety across the Penn community.  As a team, the class selected a sampling strategy and each student-researcher was tasked with recruiting a participant from within the Penn community to explore how she/he perceives fear and safety.  Over the course of one week, research participants used their smartphones or cameras to take photographs of any aspects of their daily lives that made them think of fear or safety.  The photos were then used to guide an interview between the researcher and the participant about those topics.

Dr. Frasso turned to group collaboration in the Collaborative Classroom as a strategy to help the student researchers make sense of the sizable amount of data they all collected.    Through collaborative analysis, student researchers found that their participants’ views on fear and safety revolved around eight thematic categories: vulnerability; sense of belonging; fear of failure; surveillance; physical and mental health; fear of the unknown; sources of comfort; and spaces and places.

The student researchers of Dr. Frasso’s class see their research findings as a potential catalyst for change at Penn.  To this end, they have made their work visible in many ways.  You can view their research exhibit, complete with photos and participant quotes, just outside the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom (right before the WIC entrance, to the right).  Students also plan to share their findings with key members of the Penn community such as President Amy Gutmann, CAPS, and GAPSA.

For more information on displaying your students’ work or using Van Pelt’s Collaborative Classroom for enhanced teamwork and engagement, visit: