Influences on the implementation of mobile learning for medical and nursing education: Qualitative systematic review by the digital health education collaboration

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Abstract

Background: In the past 5 decades, digital education has increasingly been used in health professional education. Mobile learning (mLearning), an emerging form of educational technology using mobile devices, has been used to supplement learning outcomes through enabling conversations, sharing information and knowledge with other learners, and aiding support from peers and instructors regardless of geographic distance. Objective: This review aimed to synthesize findings from qualitative or mixed-methods studies to provide insight into factors facilitating or hindering implementation of mLearning strategies for medical and nursing education. Methods: A systematic search was conducted across a range of databases. Studies with the following criteria were selected: examined mLearning in medical and nursing education, employed a mixed-methods or qualitative approach, and published in English after 1994. Findings were synthesized using a framework approach. Results: A total of 1946 citations were screened, resulting in 47 studies being selected for inclusion. Most studies evaluated pilot mLearning interventions. The synthesis identified views on valued aspects of mobile devices in terms of efficiency and personalization but concerns over vigilance and poor device functionality; emphasis on the social aspects of technology, especially in a clinical setting; the value of interaction learning for clinical practice; mLearning as a process, including learning how to use a device; and the importance of institutional infrastructure and policies. Conclusions: The portability of mobile devices can enable interactions between learners and educational material, fellow learners, and educators in the health professions. However, devices need to be incorporated institutionally, and learners and educators need additional support to fully comprehend device or app functions. The strategic support of mLearning is likely to require procedural guidance for practice settings and device training and maintenance services on campus.

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Lall, P., Rees, R., Yi Law, G. C., Dunleavy, G., Cotič, Ž., & Car, J. (2019). Influences on the implementation of mobile learning for medical and nursing education: Qualitative systematic review by the digital health education collaboration. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.2196/12895

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