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An analysis of the undergraduate physiotherapy curriculum to identify

a teaching module for development, implementation and evaluation


of a blended learning approach, using emerging technologies

Abstract

Today's students in higher education are different in how they think, communicate and
learn, and there are calls for a change in pedagogy that takes this into account. The use
of emerging technologies has been identified as a potential facilitator of this change,
particularly in a blended approach to teaching and learning. Blended learning strategies
build on social constructivist principles of education, and thus provide a more engaged
experience for both educators and students. This study aims to analyse the
undergraduate physiotherapy curriculum in order to determine which modules are
appropriate for blended learning, and which could take advantage of emerging
technologies to improve practice. The study will take place within the physiotherapy
department at the University of the Western Cape and all staff and registered
undergraduate students will be invited to participate in the process. The overarching
design of the study will be to use action research methods to create organisational change
in the form of curriculum development, as well as to simultaneously study the process and
results of that change. Within this design, a number of other methodologies will be used at
each stage of the process, including a systematic literature review, two descriptive
surveys, three workshops, document analysis of the curriculum, a Delphi study to identify
appropriate modules and pedagogical strategies, and process evaluation. Permission to
conduct the study will be sought from the faculty Higher Degrees Committee, the Senate
Higher Degrees Committee, the Registrar of the university and the head of the
physiotherapy department. The study will be conducted according to ethical practices
pertaining to the study of human subjects as specified by the Faculty of Community and
Health Sciences Research Ethics committee.