ICT artefacts in nursing studies

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Virta building, auditorium 109, address: Åkerlundinkatu 5.

Sari Himanen

Doctoral defence of M.Sc. (Health care), M.Sc. (Admin.) Sari Himanen


Tieto- ja viestintäteknologian artefaktit hoitotyön opiskelussa : Tapaustutkimukset lääkehoidon, aseptiikan ja harjoittelun ohjauksen artefaktien opetuskäytöstä (ICT artefacts in nursing studies : Case studies on educational use of artefacts in pharmacotherapy, asepsis and clinical training supervision)

The field of science of the dissertation is Education.

The opponent is professor Heli Ruokamo (University of Lapland). Professor Eero Ropo acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is Finnish.

Technological applications can support nursing students in learning pharmacotherapy and asepsis and deepen learning results in clinical training

In the digitalising society, working environments become more and more technological and many services move into the web environment. Future employees’ ability to contribute to the trend can be strengthened by applying information and communication technology in a variety of ways in professional education.

During the research process, four ICT-based applications were introduced in nursing education. We studied their introduction process as well as studying and learning enabled by them. The idea of design research was applied in the research with the aim of finding out if the tested learning environment produces desired results. In design research, development and/or introduction of technological artefacts and production of scientific information are implemented in practical operational environments as a process with repeated cycles of assessment data collection and development after the first trials.  

The empirical research results were published in four publication volumes. The results showed that use of artefacts can support students’ learning. The discussion forum allows students to share their clinical training experiences and reflect on the learnt with peer students, and the teacher to observe professional competence development (article 1). The independently completed web-based pharmacotherapy course developed students’ self-assessed pharmacotherapy competence in all the studied fields (article 2). The assessment and feedback tool eTaitava supported students in constructing their clinical training objectives, directed their daily work, and supported self-assessment according to the data collected from both students and teachers (article 3). The virtual hospital as a game-like and illustrative environment supported learning of asepsis work according to the student data (article 4).

The relation between the studied artefacts and learning was analysed closer by examining their possibilities in supporting students’ learning. We used a learning model with the following phases: attention, perception, interpretation, storage, and use of information. The artefact’s learning-related features can be called affordances. Users observe affordances in relation to their current needs. The users’ ability to observe affordances varies depending on for example their history. This can explain why the artefacts did not support as well every students learning.  

As a summary of the research we constructed a model on factors of technology-supported learning process. It describes the relations between the learner, studied contents and technological artefact factors and the different phases of the learning process. The pedagogical ideas of the piloted four artefacts were different. When integrating technology into teaching it is essential to select the right application to each situation. In order to increase digitalisation of education, teachers need to test a variety of new applications.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2306, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1810, Tampere University Press 2017.

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