When Jefferson School of Nursing (JSN) FACT students begin their 12-month accelerated BSN program on May 16, they will pilot the use of iPads as a tool for teaching and learning. The effort is a collaboration between JSN, Jefferson Information Technologies (Jeff-IT) and Academic & Instructional Support & Resources (AISR) to bring mobile computing options to the nursing classroom, bedside and laboratory.
“This project is possible thanks to the efforts of Bruce Metz, Doug Herrick, John Hoffler and Ed Tawyea, members of Jefferson’s Educational Technology Advising Group,” shares Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at JSN. “The group has been talking about using iPads in the education and clinical setting, and JSN is happy to take the lead.”
There is limited evidence on the academic benefits of using personal digital devices in undergraduate nursing curriculum, and JSN seeks to inform this topic. JSN faculty will design, implement and evaluate a comprehensive mobile computing solution to support teaching-learning strategies using the iPad to access e-books, interact with lecture content, complete computer-based testing, engage in audience response, watch videos while practicing clinical skills, simulate use of the electronic health record and point of care clinical decision support tools, interact with the virtual family and complete clinical evaluations online. The iPads will feature a number of clinical reference applications allowing students to access drug information, dosing calculators, lab value reference guides, practice guidelines and any of the University library's 13,500+ full text electronic resources.
Evaluation of the 12-month project will occur via focus groups, questionnaires, interviews and end of course evaluations. The expected results include responses to questions raised by members of the Educational Technology Advisory Group, such as identifying the required infrastructure to support and sustain mobile computing on campus; describing what works and doesn’t work in the living laboratory of the classroom, simulation/laboratory settings and clinical settings; and examining student and faculty outcomes. Specific questions include how can we engage students and faculty in mobile computing; how are students using the iPads; what is the impact on student knowledge, skill and competency development and achievement; and how are faculty engaging students and using the iPad in all facets of the curriculum.
Anticipated benefits of using the iPad in the curriculum range from reducing textbook costs by using e-books to increasing interaction with e-books using new technology that allows students to read, highlight and markup text in ways not previously available. Students will also be able to electronically share their study notes with their classmates. There are plans to integrate 1:1 iPad program in all JSN programs and potentially across the University.