Mobility

Wireless Handhelds to Support Clinical Nursing Practicum

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Executive Summary

This paper reports implementation and evaluation of a wireless handheld learning environment used to support a clinical nursing practicum course. The learning environment was designed so that nursing students could use handhelds for recording information, organizing ideas, assessing patients, and also for interaction and collaboration with peers during an on-site clinical practicum. Wireless handheld learning environment was field tested during a three-week practicum session. Analysis of data showed that both the instructor and the student benefited from using the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) environment. The handhelds not only provided students with scaffolds to enhance learning but also facilitated peer cooperation and interaction with the instructor. Issues resulted from implementation included things like the capacity of handhelds, network access, and participants' preconceptions on using PC-based systems.

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