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Covid-19 – Moving to online learning for physiotherapy

One of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has been a widespread global shutdown of university campuses. Educators from every discipline have been tasked with undertaking an unprecedented wholesale reorganisation of teaching, learning and assessment activities from face to face to online delivery in a matter of days often whilst continuing to deliver their programmes. The practical nature of many of the learning outcomes and high contact hours of physiotherapy programmes provide additional challenges for educators to negotiate.

Two of our founding beliefs at In Beta are the benefits of collaboration between peers, and the power of digital technology to enable sharing of knowledge and experiences. It seemed sensible to try and facilitate sharing of existing knowledge and resources, to reduce, in any way we can, the workload for educators negotiating this pedagogical shift as they support their students and families in these extraordinary times

As always, the idea is to enable collaboration. Please consider lending your own resources, knowledge and experience to your colleagues through one of the initiatives below.

Stay safe,

Ben and Michael

Sharing existing online teaching resources

As physio courses look to move their teaching online in response to Covid-19, let’s not reinvent the wheel, but instead make use of the great existing online content already out there. 

We have set up a Google Drive for useful resources that can be shared for others to use. The drive can be added to by anyone. Please consider sharing any papers or resources relevant to online learning in a physiotherapy context either as separate files to this drive, or as links in the documents below.

Unfortunately we suffered a bit of a Google disaster and somehow lost most of the saved PDFs and other resources saved as files that people had added to this drive. Luckily the following three Google docs survived which are open to editing:

The first Google Doc has links to existing online resources such as eLearning packages, recorded lectures, TED talks, podcasts. Please add links to this document to absolutely any existing, openly accessible, online learning resources that may be useful for physio educators moving their teaching online. This is about content that lecturers may find useful for teaching.

The second Google Doc has links to videos of practical clinical skills and patient case studies which could be used as part of learning activities to develop clinical skills and reasoning. Please add links to this document to existing, publicly accessible videos which you use in your teaching which may be useful for demonstration of practical skills or online case study discussions. This is specifically about videos of patients/simulated patients that might be useful for clinical skill instruction or patient case studies.

A third Google Doc has links to resources for physio educators who are being asked to move their teaching and assessment online but who have little experience in this domain. Please add links to resources that may help educators new to online teaching and learning. This is less about suggesting specific platforms for use and more about how to change our thinking around teaching, learning and assessment. This is about how to think differently about the practice of teaching and learning online.

Online discussions

The following Zoom conference calls are open to any physiotherapy or related educators who wish to join the conversation. The idea is for participants to share their ideas, knowledge and experiences on the topic. If you have particular expertise and would like some dedicated time to share this please let us know at the start.

27th March 10:00 – 11:00 UK time – Teaching practical skills online

A discussion and opportunity to share experiences and ideas about how to teach practical skills online for physiotherapy educators moving teaching online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to everyone who took part. The audio of the discussion is available as a podcast here, or via your preferred podcast app, or you can watch a video recording here:

7th April 20:00 – 21:00 UK time -Assessing practical skills online

A discussion and opportunity to share experiences and ideas about how to assess practical skills online for physiotherapy educators moving assessment online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to everyone who took part. The audio of the discussion is available as a podcast here, or via your preferred podcast app, or you can watch a video recording here:

More dates and topics TBC

Other In Beta podcasts

Principles of distance learning activity design

Michael and Ben had a conversation about the principle of learning activity design that educators at the University of Western Cape are using to inform how they plan teaching online during the coronavirus lockdown. You can read Michael’s initial blog here and watch a video recording of the conversation here:

Featured image by Bima Rahmanda on Unsplash. Laptops on table photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash. Laptop on sofe photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


  1. Rob
    Rob 25th March 2020

    Great resource. One of my colleagues turned me onto this page. We are teaching/testing our kinesiology classes fully online now and will for the near future. I’ll be interested to see how others have tackled the challenge.

    • Michael
      Michael 25th March 2020

      We’d love to hear how this goes. Feel free to update in the comments, or in the relevant Google Docs, or join the discussions we have planned. All the best.

  2. Richard Kunda
    Richard Kunda 29th March 2020

    This is a great platform. I and colleagues from six other countries are trying to conduct a study on PT students’ experiences of on-campus learning in the wake of COVID-19.

    • Ben Ellis
      Ben Ellis 31st March 2020

      Thanks Richard! That sounds really interesting, keep us informed on how it goes. Cheers, Ben

    • Ben Ellis
      Ben Ellis 1st April 2020

      Thanks Mark. Wish I had seen these before last night!

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