The most successful method in teaching nursing students infection control - E-learning or lecture?

Marit Hegg Reime, Anette Harris, June Aksnes, Jane Mikkelsen
Nurse Education Today 2008, 28 (7): 798-806
Approximately 33% of all health care-associated infections are preventable. It is therefore important to provide training for nursing students about this topic. In collaboration with the local hospital, the Department of Nursing evaluated a newly developed e-learning program on infection control normally used among employees in the hospital but now tried in the setting of bachelor students. The students received learning goals for the course and were divided into two groups: one group used the e-learning program, and the other group had 3-h-long lectures. After the course they took a multiple-choice test. In addition, three focus groups were established. The students were satisfied with both teaching approaches. The lectures provided a good introduction to the recommended reading. The e-learning program was rated as good on design, academic content, and the integrated tests were motivating for their learning. Specific learning goals were found to be useful. Gender and age, depending on the teaching approach used, were significant in determining the results of the test, the same were the number of sources used in preparing for the test. E-learning has to be viewed as a resource in the same way as a lecture. It is important that the students are competent in ICT, because they will need to use this tool in their clinical practice. In addition, a degree level course needs to use many different teaching methods to achieve goals related to in-depth and superficial learning.

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