A Pilot Study of Nursing Students’ Use of Mobile Devices in Online Learning

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: A Pilot Study of Nursing Students’ Use of Mobile Devices in Online Learning
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Rick Roder, Athabasca University, Canada
Lynn Corcoran, Athabasca University, Canada


Consider the contexts in which online learning occurs. What devices students use, where learning takes place, and when students learn are all important considerations. These factors have implications for online course design, especially as the pandemic has pushed more students to fully online learning. A pilot study was undertaken in the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) program at Canada’s largest online university. Data was collected over 12 months using a self-reported survey embedded in two online courses. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data. All subjects in this study were working as Licensed Practical Nurses while undertaking BN studies.
The objectives of this pilot study were to determine: (1) what devices nursing students were using to complete coursework; (2) locations in which coursework was occurring; (3) time of day chosen for learning.
Preliminary results indicated students were using laptops for assignments and smartphones for emailing. Urban students learned at home using reliable high-speed internet while rural students accessed their courses where connectivity was more reliable such as the local library. As all students were nurses working shifts, they completed coursework at any time. The context of the digital learning environment should inform the course designs. For example, situating videos on streaming platforms outside of the course can address connectivity issues and cueing students to the length of time needed to complete an activity enables them to plan appropriate time for their learning. The presentation will use the data gathered to provide strategies used to address the needs of our students.

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