Cooperative M-Learning with Nurse Practitioner Students

Article excerpt

RESEARCH

ABSTRACT

New technologies give nurse academicians the opportunity to incorporate innovative teaching-learning strategies into the nursing curricula. Mobile technology for learning, or m-learning, has considerable potential for the nursing classroom but lacks sufficient empirical evidence to support its use. Based on Mayer's multimedia learning theory, the effect of using cooperative and interactive m-learning techniques in enhancing classroom and clinical learning was explored. The relationship between m-learning and students' learning styles was determined through a multimethod educational research study involving nurse practitioner students at two mid-Atlantic universities. During the 16-month period, nurse practitioner students and their faculty used personal digital assistants (PDAs) to participate in various m-learning activities. Findings from focus group and survey responses concluded that PDAs, specifically the Pocket PC, are useful reference tools in the clinical setting and that all students, regardless of learning style, benefited from using PDAs. It was also demonstrated that connecting students with classmates and other nurse practitioner students at distant universities created a cooperative learning community providing additional support and knowledge acquisition. The authors concluded that in order to successfully prepare nurse practitioner graduates with the skills necessary to function in the present and future health care system, nurse practitioner faculty must be creative and innovative, incorporating various revolutionary technologies into their nurse practitioner curricula.

Key Words Graduate Nursing Education - M-Learning - PDAs -Nurse Practitioner - Technology - Cooperative Learning

NEW TECHNOLOGIES GIVE ACADEMICIANS OPPORTUNITITES TO INCORPORATE INNOVATIVE TE ACH I N G - LE ARN I NG STRATEGIES INTO THEIR CURRICULA. While the value of handheld technology - personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones, and tablet computers - has been well documented in the clinical setting (Scordo & Yeager, 2.003) an^ has considerable potential for the nursing classroom, mobile technology for learning lacks sufficient empirical evidence to support its use. this study, therefore, explores how mobile TECHNOLOGY, OR M-LEARNING, INFLUENCES NURSE PRACTITIONER STUDENTS.

The goals of this project, a multimethod educational research study conducted at two universities, were twofold: a) to explore how cooperative and interactive m-learning techniques enhanced classroom and clinical nursing education at multiple locations, and b) to determine the relationship between m-learning and students' learning styles. Two research questions were asked:

* Do cooperative and interactive m-learning techniques enhance classroom and clinical nursing education at multiple locations?

* Is there a relationship between m-learning and students' learning styles?

Literature Review According to Mayer's multimedia learning theory (2001), methods that attend to all styles of learning - verbal, visual, and kinesthetic - may enhance the ability to solve problems. By providing content through text images, audio, and video output M-learning with PDAs can address all learning styles. PDAs can also promote cooperative learning. Pairing learners who possess varying degrees of knowledge allows them to gain information from one another and promotes academic achievement critical thinking, retention, and enhanced oral communication skills (Gokhale, 1 995; Johnson, Johnson, & Stanne, 2000).

PDAs can be used to access the Internet retrieve data from servers, and connect callers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Running classroom software, PDAs can connect learners to learners, teachers, and instructional material. Wake Forest University developed ClasslnHand(TM), a free PDA tool that supports presentations, web browsing, and polling (Bishop, Dinkins, & Dominick, 2003). …