Chapter 4: Context - what to consider

DIRENE Handbook Context

Chapter 4 - "Context - what to consider" aims to support you in answering the questions:

What is the contextual framework of my course?

You, as an educator, are influenced by the setting of your planned course and the characteristics of your learners. Take into account, how different (technical) possibilities concern institutions as well as students all around the globe.

What are the topic and the institutional setting of the planned course?

Define, which topic you plan to educate and why this is important for your learners. Align this with the aim or strategy of your institution.

-> As an example, take a look via this link to four short video clips, why and how educators in the sub-Saharian Africa would develop a mobile learning course on Digital Rehabilitation for health professionals.

How many credits / working hours / which workload would the course enclose?

Consider indicating the minutes per unit for international learners.

What are the characteristics of the learners (and their future client target group)?

Your design will differ depending on whether your health care learners are at a "beginners" or “advanced” level in their Digital Rehabilitation competences, as well as on which setting and clinical fields you focus. This will influence your content and methods, e.g. by designing problem-based learning scenarios. In these, your learners apply authentic tasks of using Digital Rehabilitation and reflect on specific limitations and benefits, e.g. of assessing gait.

Who are relevant stakeholders and what do they need?

You may consider, what stakeholders (e.g. future employers, technology- providers, policy-makers,...) should know regarding the use of digital solutions. Your course may cover one or several of these aspects in higher / continuous education.

  • Through the DIRENE consortium, a stakeholder meeting was organised in four countries to identify megatrends and digital tools used in digital rehabilitation. Stakeholders were health care professionals, potential users of digital technologies, experts from companies dealing with future trends in rehabilitation, policy-makers, representatives of public health administrations/social and welfare departments at different levels and representatives of national platforms digitalization in health care) from Greece, Austria, Finland and Germany.
  • These stakeholders consider all types of digital platforms (apps, softwares, video consultation, podcasts, blogs), VR/AR, robotics, 3D printing, exergaming/serious games as important technologies for Digital Rehabilitation. These technologies are already used in practice. They indicated that the technologies should not be considered as separate solutions, but should be used in combination with each other.
  • Although participants noted that each group of digital technology is considered relevant for Digital Rehabilitation, Big Data, AI and digital platforms are most favored for the future of Digital Rehabilitation. In addition, they pointed out that all types of technologies have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • The decision about which technology to use in therapy should be based on the service user's goals and abilities. For example, stakeholders from Greece and Austria stated that social media (a type of digital platform) could be helpful for psychological/behavioral support. Stakeholders from Greece expressed that digital platforms could bring people with the same health problems together to share their experiences. Participants from Germany considered that digital platforms are very useful for home-based rehabilitation.

On which framework(s) will the course build on?

Further, you may want to read about relevant frameworks in the literature, before engaging deeper in your course design (Caena & Redecker, 2019; Carretero Gomez et al., 2018; Punie & Redecker, 2017).

What could be the facilitators and barriers concerning your course?

As an example, the DIRENE consortium organised focus groups in with students, educators and teachers as well as working life professionals from Greece, Finland, Germany and Spain discussed several points that could affect the implementation of training in digital rehabilitation.

  • For instance, the course structure, schedule and duration may be very dependent on the curriculum of educational levels in different countries and on the organisation of continuing education, in a parallel way with professional duties.
  • Other important aspect to take into account is, if digital rehabilitation is organised as a service of the workplace, what can facilitate (or not) the access to technical support and investments in resources. The lack of regulation and the necessity of a legal framework might be a con in the adoption of digital solutions.

The main identified facilitators and barriers were:

  • +: Exchange of experiences
  • +: Development of an education/training with practical application
  • +: Promotion of educational opportunities
  • -: Lack of resources
  • -: Need for constant up-to-date
  • -: Time consuming
  • -: Lack of communication about offered trainings

Finally, think again about the institutional framework of your course, including any different organisational and logistical aspects.


Proceed to the identifying competences in the next chapter:

-> Link to chapter 5: "Needed competences in digital rehabilitation"

Go back to the previous chapter:

<- Link to chapter 3: "Use-cases"

Go back to the main page:

<- Link to “Pedagogical Handbook on training of Digital Rehabilitation Competences”