World Physiotherapy Congress 2021

Focused Symposium – Technology in Physiotherapy Education – Global Perspectives

World Physiotherapy Congress 2021 – online 9th-11th April

The overall aim of the focused symposium was to provide a platform to share practice and discuss the use of technology in physiotherapy education.  The abstracts for the symposium had been submitted prior to the pandemic and the transition across the globe to online learning. This meant there was more active engagement in the topic. We agreed there was a need for clearer definitions around online learning as we were all using different terms i.e., virtual classrooms, digital learning, simulated learning etc.

The objectives were:

  • To provide an up-to-date view on the benefits and challenges of digitalisation and technology in physiotherapy education and in particular experiences following the pandemic.
  • Identify and discuss facilitators and barriers to technology enhanced physiotherapy education and how these may vary globally.
  • Providing examples and discussion in relation to the role of blended learning and simulation-based learning including evidence for future development in this area.

Many of the discussions were around student engagement, and consideration of what elements of a curriculum can or cannot be delivered virtually. Recognised challenges across the globe were Wi-Fi connectivity, access to laptops and it was clear in some parts of the world physiotherapy programs had experienced significant delays, impacting on the future health care work force. This symposium was carried out with one of our partner organisations Sri Ramachandra HEI, Chennai, India.