Exploring the Effectiveness of an Interactive, Technology Enabled Learning Tool to Enhance Student Knowledge in Neonatal Biology

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Aims To explore whether an interactive, technology-enabled (TE) learning tool has a benefit for post-basic neonatal education inrelation to enhancement of knowledge and user satisfaction in neonatal-specific biology.Background Neonatal nurses working anywhere in the world require a wide range of essential knowledge to support theirpractice. Understanding the biology that underpins neonatal care is paramount. The role of educational technology to teachknowledge in this specific area of neonatal curricula is the focus of this paper.Design A mixed methodology design was used, comprising primarily a quantitative evaluation using: a) a pre-test, post-testsurvey design to measure knowledge of neonatal nursing students relating to the essentials of neonatal biology; b) satisfactionsurvey to evaluate student preference for interactive versus non-interactive modes of learning, which allowed some free-textresponses to provide qualitative data relating to student experience of the learning mode.Methods A convenience sample of 31 neonatal nurse students completed a test of knowledge in neonatal biology before andafter using interactive (TE) and non-interactive (text-based) learning tools. Differences in the increase in scores between the twoformats were compared. Comparative user satisfaction with both methods of learning was also explored post-test using Likertscales and open-ended responses.Results Both interactive and non-interactive methods of learning achieved significantly improved scores (p<0.001) whenmeasured post-test. However, there was no significant difference between the increase in knowledge scores when comparingboth modes of learning (p<0.103). The majority of participants preferred the interactive, self-testing format due to activeengagement, flexibility and self-direction.Conclusion and implications for practice TE learning tools for neonatal nurses should be blended with classroom and/or clinicalteaching for them to acquire vital knowledge underpinning the delivery of safe, effective care. Development of interactive, openaccess and online resources should be used to disseminate and share essential knowledge for practice to neonatal nurses on aglobal level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-10
Number of pages9
JournalNeonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • technology-enabled learning
  • interactive learning
  • neonatal nursing
  • knowledge for practice


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