Reflections on nursing students’ e-learning experiences

09 Dec 2009

Introduction: E-learning has been integrated into the curriculum of the School of Nursing (SON) because it supports the principles of the case-based approach adopted by the SON. Aim: The primary aim was to gather baseline data on e-learning by exploring the perceptions and experiences of the first pilot group of undergraduate nursing students who were exposed to this strategy. Methods: A descriptive cross -sectional quantitative design was used to collect data regarding the students’ understanding and value of e-learning, the benefits and skills gained, challenges experienced, by means of a structured, open-ended questionnaire. Convenience sampling was used because the questionnaire was distributed to the 87, third year undergraduate nursing students who completed the Primary Mental Health Care module in June 2006. Microsoft Excel software was used for the capturing and analysis of the data. Results: The findings indicate that 19.5% did not have an accurate theoretical understanding of e-learning in spite of being exposed to at least two sessions of KNG training. The data confirmed that e-learning affords convenience, flexibility and improved access to digital resources. Initial confusion and system down times were cited as important challenges. Conclusion: Although some students struggled initially, the majority (87.8%) succeeded finally in mastering e-learning and regarded the experience as valuable in that 90% rated it as beneficial enough to be recommended to other students.