How to Use Technologies to Engage Nursing Students in Learning Research: A Mixed-Methods Study

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Shuhong Luo, EdD
College of Nursing, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA

Learning technologies have been used as educational approaches in higher education, however they are rarely embedded in nonclinical nursing education. Research in nursing is traditionally didactic, presented early in the program of study. The purpose of this project is to design and implement technology-based assignments to help nursing student’s understanding the concept and the structure of the research. Two assignments were developed: 1) Annotate the structure of a research article; 2) Reflect the content of a research article. Nine nursing students participated. We retrospectively reviewed students’ feedback from the questionnaire and reflective learning journals. We found out that most students viewed the assignments embedded with the technologies were engaging and helpful in learning research and technologies. The assignments provided scaffoldings that connected with students’ daily practices and their prior knowledge. The knowledge provided by the assignments were useful to students’ future career and degree. Two students completed more tasks in the assignments than required. After completing the assignments, students perceived both their research level and technology level were increased. They felt they had better understand on the research articles, and felt the research methods were easy to use. They thought the assignment using DocHub or Google Doc for annotation were easier to understand than assignment using Infograph for reflection. Overall, technologies such as (DocHub, Google Doc, and Infograph) are novel and useful to enhance nursing students’ research learning.Embedding technologies in the assignments in a nursing research course allowed students to engage in completing the assignments using technologies rather than just focusing on learning the research itself. In summary, the use of technologies to design assignments is one way to engage students to learn and have better understanding on the research. The technologies also provided students more ways to express their thoughts comparing with when no technologies were used. Teaching using technologies holds great promise for the learning of research for future nurses.