A Review of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pre-registration Medical Radiation Science Education
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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed traditional ways to provide pre-registration medical radiation science (MRS) (medical imaging and radiation therapy) education. This literature review explores the published pre-registration MRS education curriculum adaptations implemented in response to the pandemic and effects of the adaptations on stakeholders.
Eleven articles were identified through a systematic literature search. The included articles covered the pre-registration MRS curriculum adaptations implemented in response to the pandemic in 12 countries of five continents. Through changing content delivery and assessment modes from face-to-face to online, non-practical classes and academic assessments could continue without significant interruptions. However, cancellation / postponement of practical classes and clinical placements was common during COVID-19 lockdown. Simulated learning was used by some institutions to replace some practical classes and placements. Among the stakeholders of MRS education (students, academics and clinical educators), the students were most affected. The main impacts were negative psychological effects and learning experiences. For the academics, they had common concerns about online learning quality and assessment integrity.
This review of the early publications in the first year of the pandemic provides an illustration of the MRS curriculum adaptations implemented in five continents covering both English and non-English speaking countries and their effects on the stakeholders as yet. It is expected that more articles on this area will be published over time and hence allowing a more comprehensive review in the future.
Implications for Practice
The included articles show provision of wellbeing support, good planning of online content delivery based on sound pedagogical approaches, implementation of computer-based simulation tools suitable for home-based learning environment and use of authentic online assessments would address the impacts on the students and academics.
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