Physical TherapyWestern Health Sciences

Distance Learning

The MClSc program is a course-based, graduate program with many of the required courses delivered using online learning tools. Courses are comprised of several modules each of which include resources (readings, lecture notes, etc.), and learning activities (structured discussions, scheduled teleconferences, assignments, or quizzes). An orientation on how to access and use many of the online learning tools will be provided during the first residency period.

Online Learning Methods and Tools

Asynchronous Sessions
Text-based written communications using electronic tools that are answered by responders in their own time (eg. e-mail). There is a compelling educational advantage of asynchronous discussion in its capacity to support reflective text-based interaction, independent of the pressures of time and the constraints of distance.

Threaded Discussion
An asynchronous text-based discussion forum where students can respond to original discussion point that is usually posted by the instructor. Responses are organized by discussion topic and listed in chronological order. Used for brief commentaries, rapid responses on a topic and usually have time limits when the discussion opens and closes.

Mail
Allows one-to-one communication between students and student and faculty, similar to e-mail. Since this mail system is limited to only faculty and students enrolled in the course, it is protected from viruses and will not include any junk mail. Students should use this tool for any social discussions or any issues unrelated to the particular discussion topic.

Synchronous Sessions
Allows for discussions in real time so responses are immediate. These discussion sessions need to be scheduled in advance to meet participants schedules remembering to consider differences in geographical locations and time zones.

Chat Room
Text-based real-time discussion. Can be used for group/team meetings among students. This tool is not recommended for use with larger groups and will therefore be utilized to a very limited extent by courses in the MClSc program.

Teleconferences
Some course instructors may elect to organize group discussions using phone systems. The timing of these conferences will be scheduled by the course facilitator at a time that is mutually convenient for all students and faculty involved. When teleconferences are booked by the appropriate faculty member, information about the conference time and date and any necessary login details (toll free number and conference ID#) will be sent to all participants using an email-based teleconference announcement entitled “Meet me Conference”.  Once the teleconference is scheduled, it will be announced through the online learning tool. Student attendance is required.

Web-based Video Links
Using programs like WEBEX, SKYPE, or COLLABORATE students will be able to link with instructors or other students throughout the year. Support is available from FHS instructional design specialist Julie Whitehead to help students confirm they have the necessary software and hardware needed to attend these sessions and to problem solve any connection problems.