Over the last week I’ve given my fourth year physiotherapy students 2 assignments to be completed over the next few months. Here is a basic rundown of each.
The first assignment is part of the continuous evaluation for the Management module I teach. The students must create a website for a (fictional) private physiotherapy practice. They’ll be using Google Sites as the platform, which seems to be the simplest approach that removes most of the barriers to creating sites for people with no experience in this regard. I wanted to make the technology as small a factor as possible, which I think Sites does quite nicely. The objectives for the students are that they should be better able to:
- Identify relevant information that potential clients would need to find their practice
- Identify and make use of professional guidelines on advertising and self-promotion
- Learn new skills that will better prepare them for practice e.g. establishing an online presence using freely available tools
- Be creative in how they present themselves and their practices
The second assignment is part of the Ethics and Human Rights in Health module that I teach. Students will use a wiki to explore the differences in community-based physiotherapy in South Africa (University of the Western Cape) and Ireland (Royal College of Surgeons), as part of an international collaborative project on Physiopedia. This assignment will focus on groupwork and collaborative learning, using the content as a framework on which to build a body of shared experiences. They will be working with Irish physiotherapy students to create short narratives on the different learning and practical experiences of stutdents working in both countries. The objectives (for our students) that they should be better able to:
- Identify relevant sources of information to provide background to the narratives
- Highlight the role of the physiotherapist in community-based healthcare settings
- Explore and discuss some of the ethical and patient rights issues inherent in the South African healthcare system
- Engage in dialogue with students who come from different backgrounds, cultures and socio-economic environments, acknowledging the perspectives of those who experience the world in different ways
- Make effective use of technology to community with and share ideas with peers who are geographically dispersed
- Participate in the peer review process, by commenting on the work of other groups
I’ll be reporting on the progress of the students as they work on these assignments, and will be making any findings available following their completion.