Thanks for the opportunity to review this work.
I think this is a relevant piece which will be of interest and relatable back to several contexts.
The 3 key challenges were well defined, although I think broadly speaking, challenge 1 and 2 both relate to pedagogy – and should be grouped under this heading.
I think the piece can be strengthened by the following additions and discussion points.
- Delivery of content as a blended learning option – whilst the feasibility of converting traditionally formatted material and practical resources to online/open access content is discussed, the challenge of ensuring learning and relevant learning is not sufficiently addressed. There needs to be a distinction between the teaching (pedagogy) and the learning. Bringing students back for face to face practical revision only addresses one aspect of the curriculum. Other than final module assessment – what other ways were employed – or can be considered moving forward to a blended approach to ensure engagement, carryover of pure theoretical content into clinical scenario’s etc and ensure students felt prepared to re-enter the programme and the clinical platform.
- Whilst a lot of attention is focused on the teaching aspect it might be valuable to understand if any changes in the assessment were considered in line with this shift.
- The table presented – to show that failure in practical components reduced- is not clear. It would be helpful to label the timing of the modules differently to better understand if they were delivered and assessed pre or post-shutdown.
- While the authors allude to the module approach of the programme there is no information on how the modules are designed or aligned. For example, are some modules all theoretical like perhaps focused on the basic sciences or are all modules designed around core areas in physiotherapy – containing then components of both physiotherapy content and basic sciences. I felt there needed to be some distinction or reference to what modules were generically easier to move to an online format and if certain years of the programme coped better with the shift. This coping may have been simply related to better time management and planning – or did senior years understand the level they needed to engage with material online better than students just entering the programme.
- Was any formal feedback received from students in this period to substantiate what you saw as successes or challenges? You also note that student use of videos was surprisingly low- I’m not sure if this was of extra resources or specific practical elements. This statement is seemingly in contrast with the opening rationales around video-based learning, which implied that practical marks improved with the observation of recorded material. It makes the reader wonder then was the improvement in practical marks rather because of the smaller one on one teaching that happened on return rather than the utilization on resources/ physio tutor material in the online period.
There are some grammatical issues which need some re-looking and carefully editing of sentences in parts.