Authors: M. L. King, D. Nussbaumer, C.J. Davison, C. Symes, L. Li, J. Shimoda, C. Wolsey
Abstract: Background: Tablet Computers (TCs) and other mobile digital devices are rapidly changing the way we communicate and access information in our personal and professional lives. Scarce research exists regarding their effectiveness in promoting the learning of health professionals. This paper describes the evaluation framework used in a study to test TCs in a post-diploma baccalaureate nursing program in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state of Qatar.
Purpose: The evaluation framework was structured around 10 objectives designed to assess the impact of TC integration into the evidence-based practice (EBP) and reflective practice (RP) components of a scholarship course. Evaluation variables included perceptions of knowledge, confidence, comfort, satisfaction and technical skill before and after the 7-week TC implementation; students’ usage patterns and attitudes about the usefulness of TCs in promoting their learning related to EBP and RP were also examined; in addition, students’ views about the impact of TCs on the learning environment and their engagement in the learning process were sought.
Methods: A mixed method, prospective, descriptive design was used to assess outcomes of interest. Qualitative methods (focus groups, participant observation, field notes and reflective journals) were used to capture subjective perspectives of TC users. Quantitative methods (pre-test/posttest, activity logs and skills labs) were used to assess change in knowledge, attitude and technical proficiency over time.
Results: The comprehensive evaluation framework used to assess process and outcome variables in this study combined the logic model, participatory action and a learning taxonomy involving cognitive, affective and psychomotor competencies.
Conclusion: The value of a comprehensive evaluation plan executed in tandem with TC implementation is highlighted.
Keywords: Tablet Computers; Evidence-Based Practice; Reflective Practice; Participatory Action Research; Program Evaluation