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The Hybrid DPT curriculum allows learners to participate in independent asynchronous sessions designed for students to gain knowledge of key concepts. Students also participate in live synchronous sessions where they have the opportunity to interact with peers and faculty who provide critical application of this new knowledge.

Online Learning

It is vital that students assess their skills and readiness for online learning as hybrid is not suited for all learners. Take a moment to review the following characteristics of successful online learners.

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good time management
  • Self-driven learner
  • Ability to work independently and within small groups
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Comfortable with online technology
  • Goal-oriented
  • Comfortable in a “virtual environment”
  • Persistent even when confronted with obstacles
  • Good problem-solving abilities

Read more about the hybrid student experience.

Asynchronous Online Learning Activities

Much of the didactic content will be presented asynchronously using interactive state-of-the-art online educational activities to promote knowledge and fundamental skill acquisition. Technologies and activities identified collaboratively by DPT faculty and instructional designers from SHRS will allow for any of the following instructional methods:

  • Mini-lectures 
  • Short tutorial videos 
  • Small group discussion/Q&As 
  • Selected reading assignments
  • Interactive learning objects 
  • Discussion boards and community interaction spaces
  • Case studies 
  • Skill practice/assessment through student-made videos 
  • Skills check-list activities with clinical instructors

Synchronous Online Learning Activities

The information and knowledge from the asynchronous online educational activities will be reinforced with real-time instructor-led synchronous online activities that include opportunities for students to engage in small-group work, discussions, peer-to-peer tutoring, and active learning teaching techniques. The “live” face-to-face sessions will use the video conferencing platform Zoom, in which an instructor will be online live with 12 to 20 students at one time.

These synchronous activities will utilize videoconferencing and built-in features (Chat, Discussion, Polling) to synthesize and apply the content and material presented in the asynchronous online educational activities. The synchronous online sessions will otherwise be similar to the traditional in-class activities implemented in the Residential DPT option. 

Additionally, synchronous videoconferencing will be used to provide practical education that includes laboratory activities and hands-on skills sessions via live skill-demonstrations, small-group practice sessions, and oral assessments/examinations. All students will be required to participate in these live online sessions, and participation will be monitored and graded as appropriate. Technologies and activities identified collaboratively by DPT faculty and instructional designers will allow for any of the following instructional methods:

  • Live class sessions
  • Teacher-led presentations/demonstrations/feedback sessions
  • Small group (break-out) activities 
  • Discussions, explanations, polling 

In-Person Lab Immersions

While unique laboratory opportunities are presented during remote learning sessions, a critical component of the DPT Hybrid offering is the integration of immersive laboratory sessions within each of the first 5 terms of the program. During the lab “immersions” students will be required to travel to the University of Pittsburgh campus twice per semester to participate in intensive laboratory sessions. The length of the immersions vary by term and range from 6-9 days.

Read more and view the immersion per term schedule.