The use of
information and communication
technology by
South African
physiotherapy students




 Michael Rowe (Msc Physiot...
Global shift towards the use
  of ICT in healthcare and
  education
Social media and networks

            Social networking, consumer-
            related online forum discussion
          ...
The Net Generation
      Unprecedented access to technology
      and are comfortable using it
      Evidence suggests tha...
Question and problem
Little evidence could be found on the use of ICT by South
African physiotherapy students
Massificatio...
Aim and Objectives
   Aim:
    To investigate the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students, as a
      means of ...
Background
Definition: the use of computers and computer software
to manipulate information
WHO, UNICEF have discussed the...
Benefits of ICT in education
             Coursework accessible
             anywhere, anytime
             Promotes activ...
Resources? What resources?
Some African countries have difficulty providing students
with access to technology. Not all co...
E-learning is not the (only) answer
               E-learning must add value, not
               replace
               Te...
ICT in healthcare
Continuing professional development is facilitated
and students and professionals supported clinically
t...
Challenges and gaps
Challenges facing adoption of ICT
Digital divide
Poor infrastructure
High costs involved
Poor ICT lite...
Methodology
Study design: cross-sectional, descriptive survey
Setting: physiotherapy departments of 6 universities
offerin...
Procedure
Identify universities
Send advance letters
Deliver survey
Surveys completed
Surveys returned
Results
                                    Demographic data
                                                 18%
48%
    ...
Results
                                Response rate by university
140
                                     25%          ...
Results
                            Frequency of use by university

80

     70%
70
                    65%

60

         ...
Results
                      Reasons for Internet use at university

                                                    ...
Results
                            Students confidence when using ICT
       Online search


               Email


     ...
Results
                                  Use of the Internet at university
                                              ...
Experiences and perceptions of ICT
Students who had access to ICT at home (53%) and at high
school (48%) were more likely ...
Students more likely to seek support from those most suited
to provide it
Methods: face-to-face (95%), email (25%)
What does this all mean?


Students view ICT as a means of accessing information,
rather than enhancing communication
ICT ...
What have we learnt?

ICT has been shown to be a feasible means of
supporting physiotherapy students
Students have the ski...
How should we proceed?
Physiotherapy departments should consider developing
and implementing a comprehensive ICT strategy
...
What are we doing about it?




OpenPhysio - free, open content physiotherapy resource
Thank you


            Contact

            mrowe@uwc.ac.za
            http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog
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The use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students

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I presented some of the results from my Masters study at the Higher Education as a Social Space (HESS) conference at Rhodes University in Grahamstown last year.

I tried to determine which ICT services / tools South African physiotherapy students used as part of their studies. This was done in 2006, before the whole "social media" thing hit South Africa.

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The use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students

  1. 1. The use of information and communication technology by South African physiotherapy students Michael Rowe (Msc Physiotherapy) Department of Physiotherapy University of the Western Cape
  2. 2. Global shift towards the use of ICT in healthcare and education
  3. 3. Social media and networks Social networking, consumer- related online forum discussion and multimedia on demand Social networks are their frames of reference
  4. 4. The Net Generation Unprecedented access to technology and are comfortable using it Evidence suggests that they may be different in how they think, communicate and choose to learn
  5. 5. Question and problem Little evidence could be found on the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students Massification and Internationalisation How can ICT be used to educate and support this new generation of future healthcare professionals?
  6. 6. Aim and Objectives Aim: To investigate the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students, as a means of enhancing their education, as well as the experiences and perceptions of these students pertaining to the use of ICT as a means of seeking and receiving support. Objectives: What ICT resources are available to students; What ICT is being used for; Students' experiences and perceptions of ICT; How students are being supported; Are they adequately prepared to access support post-graduation; What differences exist?
  7. 7. Background Definition: the use of computers and computer software to manipulate information WHO, UNICEF have discussed the benefits of ICT in education and healthcare “Socially acceptable technology”
  8. 8. Benefits of ICT in education Coursework accessible anywhere, anytime Promotes active engagement with content Enhances problem-based learning Improves information gathering skills Improves communication between lecturers and students
  9. 9. Resources? What resources? Some African countries have difficulty providing students with access to technology. Not all countries have this problem.
  10. 10. E-learning is not the (only) answer E-learning must add value, not replace Technology does not solve problems
  11. 11. ICT in healthcare Continuing professional development is facilitated and students and professionals supported clinically through ICT Evidence based practice difficult to implement Geographical isolation means poor support and a lack of opportunities An estimated 30% of a doctors time will be spent using a computer. Are healthcare students ready for this?
  12. 12. Challenges and gaps Challenges facing adoption of ICT Digital divide Poor infrastructure High costs involved Poor ICT literacy Lack of technical skills Gaps in the literature Little evidence was found on the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students
  13. 13. Methodology Study design: cross-sectional, descriptive survey Setting: physiotherapy departments of 6 universities offering the physiotherapy degree Sample: all undergraduate physiotherapy students who responded Instrument design: self-developed questionnaire, focus groups, pilot study Data analysis: OpenOffice spreadsheet and SPSS Ethical clearance obtained
  14. 14. Procedure Identify universities Send advance letters Deliver survey Surveys completed Surveys returned
  15. 15. Results Demographic data 18% 48% 52% Female Male Yes No 82% Population: 1105 Sample: 529 22% Response rate 48% 42% Black Coloured Age: 18 - 22 (87%) Indian White Female: 82% 24% White: 41% 12%
  16. 16. Results Response rate by university 140 25% Western Cape: 12% 120 Stellenbosch: 9% 19% Other: +/- 7% 100 15% 80 14% 14% 13% Total: 48% 60 40 20 0 Respondants Cape Town Kwazulu-Natal Limpopo Stellenbosch Western Cape Witwatersrand
  17. 17. Results Frequency of use by university 80 70% 70 65% 60 51% 60% 50 40% 45% 49% Daily 40 Weekly 34% Monthly 30% 30 Rarely 24% 27% 25% 20 19% 17% 12% 10 6% 9% 7% 6% 3% 1% 0 Stellenbosch Cape Town Limpopo Kwazulu-Natal Western Cape Witwatersrand Almost 40% use ICT daily, 35% use it weekly
  18. 18. Results Reasons for Internet use at university Assignments: 83% 90 42% Academic development: 43% 80 70 Personal interest: 48% 60 50 24% Assignment Personal in- Guidance: 23% 22% terest 40 Professional development 30 Seeking 12% advice 20 10 0 Reasons for Internet use
  19. 19. Results Students confidence when using ICT Online search Email Printing Word processing Presentations Not confident Uncertain Confident Research Games Forums Exercise prescription 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
  20. 20. Results Use of the Internet at university Search: 83% Search 83 Databases / journals: +/- 50% Libraries 63 Email: 48% (26% for support) Websites 61 Departmental website: 41% Databases 53 Journals 48 Email 48 Departments 41 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
  21. 21. Experiences and perceptions of ICT Students who had access to ICT at home (53%) and at high school (48%) were more likely to have used ICT at university Most students were satisfied with current levels of support ( > 80%) Most respondents agreed that ICT has a positive role to play in supporting students ( > 70%) 78% agree that a strong support system would positively influence their decision to work in a community post
  22. 22. Students more likely to seek support from those most suited to provide it Methods: face-to-face (95%), email (25%)
  23. 23. What does this all mean? Students view ICT as a means of accessing information, rather than enhancing communication ICT consistently shown to enhance communication, yet students fail to use it for this purpose Many physiotherapy students have had limited or no access to ICT resources prior to attending university Reduced levels of confidence using ICT for research
  24. 24. What have we learnt? ICT has been shown to be a feasible means of supporting physiotherapy students Students have the skills to use ICT to seek support and to enhance their studies, but do not apply them Inequality in access to technology is still present in South Africa The use of ICT in communication, research and CPD (lifelong learning), was low
  25. 25. How should we proceed? Physiotherapy departments should consider developing and implementing a comprehensive ICT strategy Use ICT to facilitate communication between students and lecturers Encourage the use of ICT to encourage undergraduate research and evidence based practice
  26. 26. What are we doing about it? OpenPhysio - free, open content physiotherapy resource
  27. 27. Thank you Contact mrowe@uwc.ac.za http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog

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