The Use of Blogging to Enhance Student Learning

Monday, 7 July 2008: 1:15 PM
Ricky W. K. Yuen, MN, MSocSc, (Counseling), BN, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Annemarie, H. W. Cheung, MN, BN, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Agnes F. Y. Tiwari, PhD, RN , Department of Nursing Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Samuel, K. W. Chu, PhD , Division of Information & Technology Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Learning Objective 1: identify the use of blogging as a useful tool of information technology to improve learning outcome in clinical education.

Learning Objective 2: see a significantly positive change of deep learning approach after having feelings and experience sharing among peer learners, and with their clinical instructors, via blogging.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Information Technology (IT) on student learning in a group of nursing students undertaking their supervised clinical practice. A total of 40 first-year undergraduate nursing students undergoing their first supervised clinical practice in a two-week period participated in the study. Blogging was used as an IT tool for students to reflect on their experiences of clinical practice and to share such experiences with their peers and clinical instructors. Students' approaches to learning and locus of control were the outcome measures. The research utilized a one-group, before and after comparative method to assess the effectiveness of blogging on student learning. Students' approaches to learning were measured using The Revised Study Process Questionnaire (RSPQ). Their locus of control was assessed by Locus of Control Personality Test. After two weeks of clinical practicum with use of blogging, the students showed a significant improvement in the deep approach to learning scores (p<0.005). No statistically significant differences, however, were observed in the scores of surface approach to learning or locus of control. The findings suggest that blogging may have an enhancing effect on students' deep approach to learning, which is associated with an intention to develop a deep understanding of the underlying principles of the academic task. It is possible that blogging may have a positive effect on the students' learning processes by encouraging them to share, express and stimulate their thoughts, as well as providing channels for exchange of ideas. Furthermore, the reduced psychological distance between students and teachers as brought about by blogging and the internalization of students' learning experiences may also have enhanced their learning. No adverse effects were reported on the use of blogging. In conclusion, this study has provided preliminary evidence on the positive effect of blogging on student learning.