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The impact of eLearning on health professional educators' attitudes to information and communication technology

Authors Neville V, Lam M, Gordon CJ

Received 26 September 2014

Accepted for publication 22 November 2014

Published 29 January 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 75—81

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S74974

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Victoria Neville,1 Mary Lam,2 Christopher J Gordon3

1Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, The University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia; 2Faculty of Health Science, 3Sydney Nursing School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Background: The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health professional education is increasing rapidly. Health professional educators need to be responsive to health professionals' information and communication technological needs; however, there is a paucity of information about educators' attitudes to, and capabilities with, ICT.
Methods: Fifty-two health professional educators, enrolled in health professional education postgraduate studies, participated in an online subject with specific eLearning components requiring the use of ICT. They completed a pre- and postquestionnaire pertaining to ICT attitudes, confidence, and usage.
Results: Participants reported significant increases in overall ICT confidence during the subject despite it being high at baseline (mean: 7.0 out of 10; P=0.02). Even with increased ICT confidence, there were decreases in the participants' sense of ICT control when related to health professional education (P=0.002); whereas, the amount of time participants engaged with ICT devices was negatively correlated with the sense of ICT control (P=0.002). The effect of age and health discipline on ICT attitudes and confidence was not significant (P>0.05).
Conclusion: This study reports that health professional educators have perceptual deficits toward ICT. The impact of eLearning increased confidence in ICT but caused a reduction in participants' sense of control of ICT. Health professional educators require more ICT training and support to facilitate better ICT integration in health professional education settings.

Keywords: confidence, sense of control
 

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