Adapting to a new reality: COVID-19 coronavirus and online education in the health profession

Amy E. Seymour-Walsh, Andy Bell, Anthony Weber, Tony Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    89 Citations (Scopus)
    36 Downloads (Pure)


    The current novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has effected a significant change in the way industry-based and tertiary health professions education (HPE) can occur. Advice for strict, widespread social distancing has catalysed the transformation of course delivery into fully online design across nations. This is problematic for HPE, which has traditionally relied on face-to-face learner interaction, in the form of skills laboratories, simulation training and industry-based clinical placements. The transition to online-only course delivery has brought with it a need to address particular issues regarding the construction and delivery of quality curricula and education activities. It is in this context that regional, rural and remote health professionals and academics can provide invaluable insights into the use of technology to overcome the tyranny of distance, promote high-quality online HPE and enable the ongoing development of communities of practice. This article is the first in a series addressing the risks and opportunities in the current transition to online HPE, providing practical solutions for educators who are now unable to embrace more traditional face-to-face HPE delivery methods and activities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6000
    Number of pages6
    JournalRural and Remote Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


    • constructivist learning theory
    • distance learning
    • health professions education
    • online pedagogy
    • cognitivism


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