APTA Educational Leadership Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Purpose: Re-designing all or portions of a course with a fresh perspective can re-energize faculty and make the content more engaging for the learner. Teaching the millennial generation is also prompting faculty to revisit educational strategies. The use of electronic learning platforms, such as eLearning modules, is an innovative learning strategy with several reported benefits including flexibility and convenience for usage, ability for learners to study at their own pace and adaptability to different learning styles. Using technology that is free or already available to faculty, even the novice designer can begin development of these useful study tools. The key to effective eLearning modules is in their design, implementation and subsequent evaluation for effectiveness.

Methods and/or Description of Project: Learn from the practical experience of early adopters who will review the evidence supporting this type of delivery, the decision making process utilized to identify appropriate content areas, and provide a step-by-step template of how module development goes from a sketch and brainstormed idea to a tangible product with input from students, clinical instructors and an interprofessional peer faculty team. In addition, ideas for evaluating effectiveness will be shared based on the Pillars of Learning Effectiveness. Several exemplars of E-learning modules will be demonstrated on selected topics such as cardiopulmonary evaluation, range of motion assessment, bariatric equipment overview, and clinical education faculty development.

Results/Outcomes: Use of e-learning modules has been implemented in several classes throughout the curriculum on a variety of educational topics including cardiopulmonary evaluation, range of motion examination, and overview of bariatric equipment. A module is also being developed for clinical education faculty regarding methods for providing meaningful student feedback during clinical education experiences. The preliminary data supports that learning outcomes have been achieved with high student usage and satisfaction, an improved first time lab practical pass rate with less faculty time needed for student remediation, and overall faculty satisfaction with the implementation of e-learning modules.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education: In the pursuit of excellence in physical therapy education, instructors are always looking for innovative, evidence-based instructional methods to enhance student learning and meet the needs of the millennial student. E-Learning modules utilizing interactive technology have been shown to be an effective method for improving student performance in the classroom and the clinic and overall are well received by students. These study aides are individualized, flexible, available any time on any device, align directly to learning objectives and assessment, and provide immediate feedback to facilitate student learning. This supports the APTA Education Section’s strategic plan of supporting the educator role with “evidence based teaching and learning principles, methods and strategies.”