Original Article

Learning challenges in Physical Therapy, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, and Occupational Therapy undergraduate programs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Alessandra Giannella Samelli; Carla Gentile Matas; Naomi Kondo Nakagawa; Talita Naiara Rossi da Silva; Silvia Maria Amado João;

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COVID-19 posed numerous challenges to educational programs that had to quickly adapt to remote online learning (ROL) to ensure the continuity of health professional training over the pandemic. We aimed to assess the students' and professors' perceptions of the teaching-learning process in the Physical Therapy, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, and Occupational Therapy undergraduate programs at a Brazilian public university.


We used an electronic self-reported questionnaire with multiple-choice questions on a Likert scale ranged 1-5; higher the score, higher the level of agreement/importance/satisfaction.


Most of undergraduate students and teachers had previous experience using information and communication technologies, and 85% stated their preference for in-person learning. Students expressed their appreciation for more active learning methodologies with clear objectives, accessible content, and visualization of abstract concepts. Regarding benefits and barriers, some similar perceptions were observed between students and teachers with ROL favoring time management, benefits in the teaching-learning process, satisfaction and motivation with the course content, and low attendance rates to general academic activities due to absent or poor access to technological resources.


ROL is an alternative learning mode when the in-person classes cannot be carried out, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. ROL is believed to be unfit to replace in-person learning, although it can complement the traditional classroom-based education in a hybrid model, respecting the nature of each program in the field of health that requires in-person practical training.


Covid-19; Teaching; Education; Distance; Student; Learning


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