Physiotherapy student perspectives on synchronous dual-campus learning and teaching
Keywords:Allied health, Blended learning, Dual-campus, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy education, Regional, Remote, Synchronous learning, Videoconferencing
An increasing number of universities offer educational programmes across multiple campuses, as a way of facilitating access to tertiary education and filling the shortage of health professionals in rural and regional settings. Offering an equitable learning experience across all sites has been considered an important aspect in any learning and teaching approach. This qualitative study analysed data from 10 focus group discussions and 11 unit evaluations, to explore student perceptions of synchronous dual-campus delivery of a physiotherapy programme in Central Queensland, Australia. An inductive approach to thematic analysis was used. Three themes emerged: (a) Student location influences learning; (b) Videoconferencing impacts learning and teaching; and (c) Dual-campus delivery determines teaching structures and shapes teaching processes. Difficulties related to cross-campus communication, logistics, and opportunities for interaction and engagement were seen as detrimental to synchronous dual-campus delivery. Skill-based demonstrations added another level of complexity. However, students identified a potential benefit from accessing expertise from both campuses. With careful planning and consideration of the potential barriers and facilitators, synchronous dual-campus learning environments can be an effective delivery option for higher education institutions. This study builds on existing literature and suggests a number of strategies that are specific to this mode of programme delivery.
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