This article is most relevant in the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant effect of the pandemic on clinical placements for physiotherapy students globally. The approach of project-based learning to supplement clinical placements is based on sound pedagogy and is student-centred. The core idea of partnering with the host organisation in a flexible and responsive way to benefit both parties involved is a strength in the partnership that contributes to the host organisation’s capacity as well as learning for the student. However, it would add significance and value to the article if you could elaborate on a specific project or approach, applied during COVID-19, which you normally would not follow. Also, include what specific safety measures you need to follow for students and community members according to COVID-19 regulations.
Perhaps you can consider including a novel case study specifically during COVID-19 that is completely new for your context? It would further add value if you could elaborate on which student year group would participate, how many students per group, assessment and perhaps if the project is also community centred although student-driven?
The value of strengthening relationships in significant ways for mutual benefit when placing physiotherapy students is a matter of importance and should be mentioned. The project-based learning curricula model described, seems closely related to the service-learning model? How do these models relate and compare to each other? Do they complement each other so you could combine them to enhance effectiveness? Students are immersed in an environment where they have to think constructively toward learning and service and these projects lend themselves to the development of graduate attributes not necessarily only clinical competencies.
The consideration to the possible long-term effect of COVID-19 on clinical placement is important as we consider the preparation of physiotherapy students to prepare them for the future workforce and enable them to be responsive to health needs of the communities they will serve. How would you specifically evaluate your project for effectiveness and sustainability?
In both of these learning strategies, the mutual benefit for the health service as well as students’ learning is key and therefore worthwhile in exploring as a supplement to clinical exposure and practice. For relevance, during this COVID-19 time, I would suggest you include more recent references as well.