Physiotherapy Education in the Digital Era: A Roadmap of Educational Technologies for Allied Health Educators

Physiotherapy Education in the Digital Era: A Roadmap of Educational Technologies for Allied Health Educators

Ana Tomé, José L. Coelho
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7164-7.ch002
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The area of physiotherapy education has entered the digital era where teachers and students are provided with new teaching and learning paradigms. Comparable with other disciplines, the technology integration into physical therapy practice and curriculum is expected to deliver both advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to explore the expanding role of educational technologies in physiotherapy education and training. Uncovering the enablers and barriers of delivering physical therapy knowledge and skills using instructional technologies may help academic institutions in improving problem-solving and clinical reasoning skills among students. This chapter focused on emerging digital tools and platforms, such as virtual learning environments, massive open online courses, virtual reality, digital games and gamification, and simulation. The roadmap of educational technologies provided here raises attention to the integration of new and innovative technology solutions into physiotherapy education.
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Main Focus Of The Chapter

This chapter aims to discuss the role of technology in physiotherapy education and training. By doing so, it recognizes the demands of adopting new methodologies to potentialize future healthcare education and training from the perspectives of educators, learners, and universities. More specifically, this chapter reflects on the use of digital games, gamification, educational technologies, and virtual learning environments as instructional technologies in a new era of education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health Education: It refers to the process of educating individuals and communities about health and wellness to promote healthy behaviors and attitudes and prevent illness and injury.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs): A type of distance education that uses the internet to deliver course content to many students.

Distance Education: It refers to the delivery of educational content and instruction through various technologies and media, such as the internet, video conferencing, and correspondence courses.

Physiotherapy: It is the profession responsible for articulating the scope of practice and defining the roles of physical therapists. Physiotherapists help people at any stage of life when movement and function are threatened and develop, maintain, and restore people’s maximum movement and functional ability. Physiotherapists work in the health spheres of promotion, prevention, treatment/intervention, and rehabilitation and help people maximize their quality of life, looking at physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being.

Virtual Environment: It refers to the digital platforms that provide communication between learners and teachers and allow the distribution of didactic materials.

Virtual Reality: An interactive technology that creates an interactive and immersive experience, which enables users to explore segments of the virtual or simulated environments.

Simulation: It refers to the process of creating a model or a replica of a real-world system or process using different mediums (e.g., mathematical models and physical mockups).

Gamification: It refers to the use of game design elements and mechanics (e.g., points, badges, and leaderboards) to increase motivation, engagement, and retention.

Educational Technology: It refers to the use of technology to support and enhance teaching and learning, which may include a wide range of tools and resources, such as online learning platforms, educational software, virtual and augmented reality, and digital textbooks.

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