JSN Team Publishes Overview of FACT Tablet Computing Initiative
FACT students who entered Jefferson School of Nursing (JSN) in May 2011 piloted the use of iPads as a tool for teaching and learning. The faculty team that developed the pilot project published an article, “A Teaching-Learning Initiative with Tablet Computing,” in the September 2012 issue of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing. The team members and publication authors are JSN Dean Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN; JSN faculty members Kellie Smith, EdD, RN; Kathryn Shaffer, MSN, RN, CNE and Mary Hanson-Zalot, MSN, RN; and Anthony J. Frisby, PhD of Academic Instructional Support Resources.
The article gave an overview of the 12-month implementation of FACT nursing students using iPads from May 2011 to May 2012. The program tested whether tablet computing offers students and faculty more opportunities than smart phone and personal digital devices. For several months leading up to May, the team created the infrastructure, planned the technology and trained on best practices for use of the equipment. Student and faculty orientation to tablet use started before matriculation and continued all year, with ongoing communication via forums and one-to-one interaction. Evaluation at key stages throughout the year enabled faculty to revise and adapt the initiative as the program progressed.
The team shares lessons learned, including frequent network monitoring to avoid connection disruptions, testing e-book usability from different vendors and communicating with selected book vendors about optimizing the text for the tablet, engaging in ongoing dialogue with students and faculty to maintain and maximize use of the devices throughout the year, and using a cloud storage system to allow users to access their content from multiple devices.
JSN has expanded the use of tablet computing to the current class of FACT students and junior students in the traditional prelicensure program. The school pilot-tested tablet computing with DNP students in summer 2012 and is planning a pilot for MSN students.