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Nursing and healthcare students' experiences and use of e-learning in higher education

Moule, Pam; Ward, Rod; Lockyer, Lesley


Pam Moule

Rod Ward

Lesley Lockyer


Aim. This paper presents research on nursing and healthcare students' experiences and use of e-learning. Background. The inception of e-learning in higher education is supported by a policy background and technological developments, yet little is known of student experience and use in the United Kingdom. Methods. Conducted in 2007 and 2008, this study employed a mixed methods approach. An initial quantitative questionnaire was completed by 25 Higher Education Institutions and nine case study sites were visited. In the sites 41 students took part in focus groups and 35 staff were interviewed. Findings. Twenty-four Higher Education Institutions used a virtual learning environment and all respondents used e-learning to enable access to course materials and web-based learning resources. Three main themes were identified from student interviews, 'Pedagogic use'; 'Factors inhibiting use' and 'Facilitating factors to engagement'. Student's main engagement with e-learning was at an instructivist level and as a support to existing face-to-face modes of delivery. Student use of Web 2.0 was limited, although a number were using social software at home. Limited computer access, computing skills, technical issues and poor peer commitment affected use. Motivation and relevance to the course and practice, in addition to an appreciation of the potential for student-centred and flexible learning, facilitated use. Conclusion. There is scope to broaden the use of e-learning that would engage students in the social construction of knowledge. In addition, experiences of e-learning use could be improved if factors adversely affecting engagement were addressed. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Moule, P., Ward, R., & Lockyer, L. (2010). Nursing and healthcare students' experiences and use of e-learning in higher education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12), 2785-2795.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2010
Journal Journal of Advanced Nursing
Print ISSN 0309-2402
Electronic ISSN 1365-2648
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 66
Issue 12
Pages 2785-2795
Keywords health care, higher education, nursing, student engagement, student experiences, technology-enhanced learning
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: "Moule, Pam and Ward, Rod and Lockyer, Lesley Nursing and healthcare student's experiences and use of e-learning in higher education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66 (12). pp. 2785-2795" which has been published in final form at The definitive version is available at


JANFINALlREV28.05.doc (1.2 Mb)

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