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Adaptation to a Curriculum Delivered via iPad: The Challenge of Being Early Adopters

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Technology, Knowledge and Learning Volume 23, Number 1, ISSN 2211-1662


This convergent mixed methods study was designed to examine the skills and attitudes toward using an iPad to deliver nursing curriculum and enhance active learning strategies for sophomore Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students at a Midwestern university. Quantitative data were collected using an investigator-developed survey to identify student perceived iPad skill levels and attitudes towards the iPad before, during, and after the first year of the implementation of a one-to-one iPad requirement (i.e., the iPad Initiative). Focus groups were used to collect qualitative data to identify factors that contribute to students' attitude and skill levels. Initial data were collected from participants during the iPad orientations in August of 2013 (sophomore BSN n = 158; DNP n = 29). Follow-up sessions occurred at the end of fall semester 2013 (survey only) and spring semester (survey and focus groups) 2014. Qualitative and quantitative data were rigorously analyzed. Findings of the study (meta-inference) was informed by all data sets from all participant groups. Significant improvement was seen in quantitative data with students' perception of their technology proficiency. However, students reported significantly less use of the iPad than they had predicted in the fall. Analysis of qualitative data resulted in a variety of themes that were grouped by three predominant categories: drivers, moderators and speed bumps. Each category demonstrated theme that acted to improve the student experience (drivers), moderate the student experience (moderators) or detract from the student experience (speed bumps). The implication of the study elucidated challenges inherent in being early adopters of technology in education.


Stec, M., Bauer, M., Hopgood, D. & Beery, T. (2018). Adaptation to a Curriculum Delivered via iPad: The Challenge of Being Early Adopters. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 23(1), 109-127. Retrieved May 27, 2020 from .

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