Innovations Enhance Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program

by Rebekah Bruckner

In today’s technologically driven world, it is essential for students to understand emerging innovations in their field. Azusa Pacific University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program gives students the opportunity to master new technology used in clinical practice through the iPad One-to-One Program.

“The One-to-One Program technology streamlines the educational process, making learning more accessible for students,” said Michael Wong, DPT, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. “Students can find every resource they need through iTunesU, including course content and applications.”

APU joins other top DPT programs nationwide adopting this platform. “Much of what the DPT students do in class is extremely hands-on,” said Michael Truong, Ph.D., executive director, Office of Innovative Teaching and Technology. “These tablets are particularly conducive to the field of physical therapy because they allow mobility. This technology also makes it simple for students to take videos, photos, and record audio for assessing patients.”

“Although we aren’t the first university to integrate one-to-one computing, our faculty and staff have improved the program,” said Truong. “Rather than relying solely on textbooks, we are now able to add applications into our courses, many created by our faculty and staff. This is a significant move for three reasons: apps are less expensive, updatable, and present content in a more dynamic way.”

These applications are also beneficial in clinical practice when professionals need referential material, and they are generating interest among faculty at other universities. “We often have conversations with professors from other schools about APU’s innovative approaches. Many of them want to integrate our applications into their programs,” said Wong.

Despite these technological advances, the program’s central mission remains the same. “Our faculty teach the students to treat patients holistically. Our students and alumnae are looked upon as great clinicians who care deeply for their patients and desire to create relationships with them,” said Wong.

Rebekah Bruckner '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a English major and a graphic design minor.