This guide explains how Physiopedia can be used in teaching and learning, and also outlines ideas on how educators could incorporate Physiopedia into the learning activities of their class.
Physiopedia is the largest physiotherapy and physical therapy resource in the world. We reach the global community and current statistics indicate that we have:
- ~ 1 million page views per month
- ~ 500,000 visitors per month
- are visited from over 200 countries per month
- around 15,000 pages on the website
- are connected to over 70,000 people through social media
Wikipedia for the physiotherapy community
Physiopedia is a wiki. A Wiki is a website that allows users to easily edit and contribute to that website. Wikis are particularly suited to collaborative group authoring of documents and websites. The most famous example of a Wiki is Wikipedia, a very extensive on-line encylopedia that allows anyone to add to and edit its entries.
Wikis in teaching and learning
A wiki can be an effective tool to enhance classroom learning, promote evidence based practice and lifelong learning skills, and provide a means for early-career professional publication. The nature of wikis allows for a number benefits relating to learning and teaching applications:
- Wikis are ideal for collaborative writing applications.
- Wikis can be edited and entries published without knowledge of specialist web development tools.
- A wiki enables the development history of a document to be explored revealing who contributed what and when.
- A wiki will never be lost along with the efforts that have been made in adding content to them, they can be continually updated and always be referred to.
Physiopedia in teaching and learning
As an open source wiki for Physiotherapists, Physiopedia offers educators an opportunity to involve their students in the creation of this global resource as part of an educational project. Because Physiopedia provides a means for early-career professional publication, Students are motivated to develop quality assignments. Knowing that peers, clinical instructors, future employers and patients can view their work is a motivational influence that cannot be attained in the classroom environment alone.
Projects can provide opportunities for:
- student practice in reviewing and disseminating professional literature related to current evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines;
- an interactive forum between clinical instructors (CI’s), students and academic faculty for collaborative learning in contemporary practice topics;
- an ongoing forum to present contemporary clinical practice standards and expectations
- student exposure to international clinical practice;
- academic institution support and appreciation to CI’s for contributions to the training of future clinicians;
- opportunities to enable collaborative learning;
- understanding of and practice in basic page editing functions using wiki syntax;
- international learning opportunities in physical therapy through wiki use; and
- initial peer publication and review for students as well as clinical instructors.
- Group assignments. A group of students could be tasked with creating a new Physiopedia article. During and after the authoring process, the article's associated history page allows the tutor to monitor contributions and observe the development of the article.
- Group debates can be held in the dedicated Talk pages related to each page in the wiki. Opposing positions can be argued and evidence presented.
- Lecture preparation on particular topics can be completed in Physiopedia. Each individual could be assigned with a different topic to research which should then be either edited or added to Physiopedia with supporting evidence. These can then be viewed by all students, discussed in the lecture and then edited further if necessary following the lecture.
- Case studies can be added by students as part of an assessment or learning task. Once added to Physiopedia they will be available for all to view and learn from.
- Individual portfolios can be created from an individuals profile page. The flexible nature of wiki's allows an individual to be very creative in their personal portfolio creation and also allows for very flexible portfolio mentoring.
See more examples on the Project Ideas page.
- Collaborative working is easy to undertake in wiki based projects.
- Peer learning projects can be undertaken for example, third year students and first year students or post graduate and under graduate students could work together where the older students mentor the yonger students in clinical and academic skills.
- Peer review can be added to any project by getting students to review each others work at the end of the project.
- Interprofessional projects could also potentailly take place in Physiopedia.
Why get involved
- Student involvement in creating, reviewing and updating Physiopedia content is an excellent activity for developing academic skills such as reflection, critical assessment, writing and referencing skills.
- Encouraging students to become actively involved in Physiopedia early in their careers will encourage them to interact professionally with colleagues from the start.
- Being involved from the initial stages students will continue to contribute content to Physiopedia to assist in the development of the profession in the future.
- Know that your institution has been a part of the development of this valuable global collaborative effort.
Frequently asked questions
If you are interested in using Physiopedia in your class, check out the educators FAQs first.
Step by step guide
If you have decided to go ahead and use Physiopedia with your students follow our step by step guide that is specifically written to help educators who use Physiopedia as part of their educational program.
Leeds University have developed an extensive site about using wikis in teaching and learning.