Investigating and Encouraging Student Nurses' ICT Engagement

Investigating and Encouraging Student Nurses' ICT Engagement

Michael R. Johnson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-774-4.ch020
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Higher education institutions rely increasingly on information and communications technology (ICT) to provide learning opportunities. Written to support this enterprise, the Guidelines for Networked Learning in Higher Education (Goodyear & NLinHE Team, 2001) carefully blend theory and practice to provide a wealth of sound advice for course design teams. The focus is on “promoting connections” that directly relate to learning. However, in nursing, 6 years after the Guidelines were published, levels of students’ skills and engagement with ICT remain problematic, which undermines attempts to deploy networked learning. I argue that for such initiatives to succeed, other, more foundational connections need also to be promoted. I focus on some of the factors that contribute to student nurses’ ICT non-engagement: gender, caring, professional identity, and knowledge work. Finally, I explain how some of the barriers identified can be overcome through integrating ICT. HE programs can provide students with meaningful encounters with ICT in the different elements of a course: curriculum, teaching methods, and assessment, as well as informal learning through online forums. If successful, this integration can promote the students’ development of working knowledge in ICT, and increase the chances of their engagement in networked learning and evidence-based practice.

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