Have we failed them? Online learning self-efficacy of physiotherapy students during COVID-19 pandemic

Physiother Res Int. 2023 Jan 5:e1992. doi: 10.1002/pri.1992. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: The use of online learning systems during COVID-19 pandemic created concerns about students’ ability to successfully navigate the online learning environment. This study aims to capture the experience and changes in self-efficacy of physiotherapy students in Jordan.

METHODS: A mixed methods online survey was used. Physiotherapy entry-level students in public universities completed the online learning self-efficacy (OLSE) and the academic self-efficacy (ASE) scales. A free-entry text box was used to document the factors that augmented or reduced the perceived level of self-efficacy.

RESULTS: A statistically significant decrease in OLSE (t = 6.043, p < 0.001) and in ASE (t = 3.960, p < 0.001) was identified. Four main qualitative themes were identified, namely: availability of time, resources and learning skills; social and psychological stress; educators’ skills and access; and accepting the need for a change.

CONCLUSION: Contrary to expectations, the findings indicated a decrease in self-efficacy. This has implications in light of the new direction to formalise online learning in Jordanian higher education institutes post COVID-19 pandemic. Training educators as well as students on best online learning practices could increase students’ perceived efficacy.

PMID:36602531 | DOI:10.1002/pri.1992

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