IPHS Wintercamp 2016 was a 17-day long educational course, comprised of a two-week online course, and a 3-day on-campus course. The course focused mostly on the social determinants of health and their importance, and how to use skills such as advocacy to improve them in the society. The camp used novel and innovative educational techniques to create a fun and exciting environment in which participants could enjoy an optimum learning experience in a friendly atmosphere.
In order to create a course with practical learning materials that would be in line with the issues and challenges of the day, AIDS was selected as the main theme of IPHS Wintercamp2016.
The storyline on which the course was based, featured a fictional setting in which participants functioned as health specialists and engaged in healthy competition in a gamified environment in order to improve the state of the health determinants of the country. A combination of careful planning and implementation of novel teaching methods created an innovative, up-to-date, interdisciplinary learning experience for participants.
139 students of medical sciences from across the country signed up for the course, and a total of 88 from over 21 different universities were admitted. Of these, 69 participated in the 3-day long On Campus course which took place from 24-26th February 2016 in the Students’ Scientific Research Center (SSRC) in Tehran.
From among the unique features in place in IPHS Wintercamp2016, the following could be said to be the most effective in increasing the quality of the educational materials, increasing satisfaction levels among participants, and achieving the overall goals of the course:
1-Creating a simulated environment for decision-making
2-Programming the course to mirror real-life situations
3-Providing practical education to participants in small groups
4- Giving story-based roles to participants, and alignment of the story with the educational goals
5-Creating healthy competition between groups and environments, which in turn encouraged them in their activities and learning
6-Providing participants with the basic information they would need during the online course
7-Providing appropriate feedback to groups during reflection sessions carried out after every episode
8-Having an organized executive program, with special attention giving to participants’ satisfaction