Addressing Nursing Student Learning Styles Using M-Learning

Monday, 30 July 2012: 2:15 PM

Patricia Frohock Hanes, PhD, MSN, MAEd, RN, CNE
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA

Learning Objective 1: Name three ways in which m-learning positively affects student outcomes.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the relevance of m-learning in addressing student learning styles.

Purpose: To introduce an innovative teaching strategy incorporating m-learning (mobile learning with technology) into a nursing classroom.

 Background: A literature search revealed no information on the use of m-learning in nursing classrooms. Students are expected to function in an increasingly technology-rich environment which can enhance their ability to analyze and synthesize information. Complex class projects/assignments require higher-order thinking and application of theoretical materials. Using m-learning allows students to have freedom to construct their own learning experiences outside of the classroom (portability). This cross-disciplinary project involved the School of Nursing and the School of Education.

Conceptual Frameworks: Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and theories of learning styles.

Methods: Students were required to use different presentation strategies to present complex, theoretically-based family case studies in a class on nursing theory. Students developed their projects in multiple class sections using multiple strategies (iPads for some groups and other strategies for the remaining groups). The iPad groups were instructed to develop their presentations using iPads with mobile applications. Other groups were instructed to use whatever methods they preferred. All projects were uploaded to the instructor’s iPad which ensures their retrievability. Prior to beginning the project, students evaluated their learning styles. Student reactions and outcomes were assessed using various methods.

Implications: Demonstration of the flexibility and enhanced learning experiences of m-learning encourages students to increase the use of mobile technologies. This student-rich project impacts nursing students in their critical application of knowledge and use of mobile technology to prepare them for current classroom/clinical environments. This strategy will also be used as a teaching with technology example in graduate nurse educator and educational technology classes.