E-learning in physiotherapy education
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Peacock, S. & Hooper, J. (2007) E-learning in physiotherapy education, Physiotherapy, vol. 93, , pp. 218-228,
This paper reports the findings of a 1-year research project into the role of e-learning as a mechanism to support and enhance the learning environment for pre- and post-registration physiotherapists. The findings reveal tutor and student perceptions about what study entails, the anticipated respective roles of individuals in the learning process and how those individuals believe learning should occur when supported by e-learning in a tertiary education institution. Critical differences between the two groups of students, at different stages of their professional education, and their different uses of virtual learning environments are highlighted. This study raises some key issues that need to be addressed by educational institutions deploying e-learning in order to prepare students to engage with such a learning medium, which is likely to be unfamiliar to them at the outset of their undergraduate studies. In addition, physiotherapists need the skills, time and resources to regularly access and actively participate in the online environment. These points are essential if online communities such as interactiveCSP (www.interactivecsp.org.uk) are to be sustainable. Employers have a crucial role in promoting the professional development of staff by supporting such initiatives and ensuring that they are inculcated into an organisational culture which promotes the sharing of expertise and practice that is evidence based.