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Can Mobile Devices Be Used as an Active Learning Strategy? Student Perceptions of Mobile Device Use in a Nursing Course

Gallegos, Cara, PhD, RN; Gehrke, Pamela, EdD, RN; Nakashima, Hannah, BS

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000613
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background It can be challenging to engage prelicensure nursing students in theoretical, nonclinical courses.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe students' experiences with various teaching strategies and describe student perceptions of engagement and learning using a mobile device.

Methods The study had a mixed-methods design, which included an online survey and oral interviews to elicit student perceptions of engagement and learning using a mobile device.

Results Students, on average, reported high levels of perceived learning and moderate levels of perceived engagement. Analysis of the qualitative transcripts revealed 2 major themes clustered around learner practices and instructor/course practices.

Conclusions Overall, students reported that using the mobile devices was a positive experience. Students benefited from thoughtful, intentional mobile device use that engaged them with course ideas, limited off-task distractions, and improved collaborative experiences with peers and the instructor.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Gallegos), Associate Professor (Dr Gehrke), and nursing student (Ms Nakashima), School of Nursing, Boise State University, Idaho.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Gallegos, School of Nursing, Boise State University, 1910 W University Dr, Boise, ID 83725 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's website (

Accepted for publication: September 10, 2018

Published ahead of print: November 1, 2018

Cite this article as: Gallegos C, Gehrke P, Nakashima H. Can mobile devices be used as an active learning strategy? Student perceptions of mobile device use in a nursing course. Nurse Educ. 2018; DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000613. [Epub ahead of print]

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