Original Research

A descriptive case report of telesupervision and online case-based learning for speech and language therapy students in Vietnam during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lindy L. McAllister, Marie Atherton, Alison Winkworth, Stephanie Wells, Dien K. Le, Karina Sandweg, Thuy T.T Nguyen, Natalia Henderson-Faranda, Sharon Broadmore
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 69, No 2 | a897 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v69i2.897 | © 2022 Lindy L. McAllister, Marie Atherton, Alison Winkworth, Stephanie Wells, Dien K. Le, Karina Sandweg, Thuy T.T. Nguyen, Natalia Henderson-Faranda, Sharon Broadmore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2022 | Published: 15 August 2022

About the author(s)

Lindy L. McAllister, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Marie Atherton, Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
Alison Winkworth, Private, Albury, Australia
Stephanie Wells, Private, London, United Kingdom
Dien K. Le, An Bình Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Karina Sandweg, College of Education, Health and Human Development, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Thuy T.T Nguyen, Medical Committee Netherlands Vietnam (MCNV), Hanoi, Viet Nam
Natalia Henderson-Faranda, Natalia HF Speech & Language Therapy, Christchurch, New Zealand
Sharon Broadmore, Kinela Speech Therapy, Melbourne, Australia


Background: Vietnam’s first speech and language therapy (SLT) degrees commenced in 2019 utilising international educators. Continuity of the degrees was impacted by travel restrictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Objectives: This article presents a descriptive case report exploring the viability of online learning to continue clinical education (CE) of SLT students in Vietnam during the pandemic.

Method: Students were scheduled for face to face placements throughout 2021. International SLT educators were to travel to Vietnam and work with interpreters and locally trained certificate level therapists to provide placement supervision. When travel became impossible, tele-supervision by international therapists working remotely and in partnership with local therapists and interpreters was arranged. The second wave of Covid-19 excluded students from healthcare settings early in their placements. To conclude these placements, tele-supervisors led online case-based discussions with students. For subsequent placements, Vietnamese and international therapists facilitated two to three weeks of online case-based group discussions for students, using cases with videos or avatars.

Results: Learning outcomes for students, as evidenced in written and oral assessments demonstrated attainment of many of the learning objectives of the placements. Satisfaction for all participants (students, tele-supervisors, online group facilitators) was high. Students will undertake face to face placements in the future; however they will commence these placements with heightened clinical reasoning and planning skills.

Conclusion: Online CE is possible in LMIC and, as part of a program which includes face to face placements, can support essential CE outcomes and enhance preparation for subsequent direct experiences with patients.


COVID-19; pandemic; low- and middle-income countries; speech and language therapy; education; clinical placement; online learning; case-based learning; telesupervision


Total abstract views: 2451
Total article views: 1801

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.