Diana Veneri’s teaching focuses primarily on the rehabilitation of adults with neurologic dysfunction, such as stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury; multiple sclerosis; and vestibular dysfunction. To prepare graduate physical therapy students to work with patients in clinical settings, Veneri developed a virtual clinic using computer-assisted learning modules.
Veneri videotaped a variety of patients during their physical therapy sessions. Over the past five years, she has developed a module to supplement the content she teaches; 14 modules to date. Within each module, students view a series of video clips, then answer related questions about evaluation and treatment interventions and progressions. The purpose of the modules is to promote critical thinking, clinical decision making, observational skills, and problem-solving abilities. The modules also help students to develop empathy for people with neurologic impairments.
To make the modules useful and accessible, Veneri has collaborated with departments across the University, including the Faculty Center for Learning Development, Information Technology Services, and the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions’ education production manager.
A research study demonstrated quantitative and qualitative support for the innovation. The virtual clinic has enhanced learning in the physical therapy graduate program so much that students have requested that computer-assisted learning modules be developed for other areas of the curriculum.