Knowledge and attitudes regarding the use of social software in a physiotherapy department

18 Nov 2009

Institutions of higher learning are under pressure to respond to the changing needs of today's learners and the use of information and communication technology has been at the forefront of that change. Furthermore, the use of social software to enable people to interact with each other in a dynamic way has been identified as one possible solution. This survey sought to identify the knowledge and attitudes of South African physiotherapy students towards the use of social software in a physiotherapy department. The design was a cross-sectional, descriptive survey that took place in a university physiotherapy department in the Western Cape, South Africa. It included 135 students and used a self-developed questionnaire. Results showed that these students had only a superficial understanding of social software and that they did not make use of common services. They did however, show an openness to new approaches and a willingness to interact with lecturers outside the traditional classroom setting. A lack of access to appropriate technology was identified as one possible factor for their lack of understanding. Conclusion Any attempt to incorporate social software to improve teaching and learning practice into this department would have to be accompanied by significant training and support.