Exploring e-learning adoption in nurse education: a socio-cultural case study using Q and Bourdieu

Petit dit Dariel, Odessa (2011) Exploring e-learning adoption in nurse education: a socio-cultural case study using Q and Bourdieu. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This research study employed Q-methodology (Q) to explore the factors influencing e-learning adoption in a nurse education context, and Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice (TOP) to analyse these findings using a case study of one school of nursing in the UK. E-learning adoption has been limited in nurse education despite a wide body of literature promoting its use for improved learning outcomes. Most research studies to date have used surveys to explore the overarching factors influencing academics to adopt e-learning across higher education more generally, but these findings have not identified the underlying issues influencing their responses to these factors, nor do they allow a deep analysis of discipline-specific factors.

This study identified four groups (Factors) of academics each responding differently towards e-learning in their teaching. The first group represented the ‘e-advocates’ who saw technology as having the potential to improve nurse education by giving more control to learners and preparing future nurses for their evolving role in health care. The second group represented the ‘humanists’ who although sharing similar pedagogical beliefs as the first group had not been motivated to engage with technology because of the value they placed on human interaction. The third group was described as the ‘sceptics’ who had had previous negative experiences with e-learning and were unconvinced about technology’s ability to improve learning outcomes. Finally, the fourth factor, the ‘pragmatics,’ although ostensibly positive in their views towards e-learning, held different pedagogical beliefs from the three other groups and felt it was their responsibility to cover certain content in a face-to-face setting.

The unique combination of Q and Bourdieu’s TOP enabled a deeper analysis of the four groups’ views and the socio-cultural context shaping them, thus providing new insights into academics’ responses to e-learning. Moving beyond the binary labels commonly attributed to those considered either ‘early adopters’ or ‘laggards,’ the findings make a contribution to the e-learning adoption literature by revealing a wider breadth of views and responses towards technology. Moreover, this study showed that internal beliefs determined the extent to which external factors were perceived as influential. This serves to explain why some individuals overcome certain barriers to e-learning adoption whilst others succumb to them. The findings from this study will inform policy-makers, e-learning strategists and professional development staff on how to more effectively present and promote e-learning.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wharrad, H.J.
Windle, R.
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WY Nursing
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Nursing
Item ID: 12256
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2013 08:43
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 14:10
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12256

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