Current knowledge and learning on the use of technology in healthcare education

Snell, Laura ORCID logo ORCID: and Grimwood, Tom ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) Current knowledge and learning on the use of technology in healthcare education. (Unpublished) Item availability may be restricted.

[thumbnail of (2020, Jan) NWAS Technology in Healthcare Education.pdf] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (780kB) | Contact the author


Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE) was commissioned to undertake a small-scale evaluation project for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS). The aim of the project was to conduct a literature review into the uses of technology in healthcare education and make recommendations to guide the development of NWAS education programmes.

A literature search resulted in 20 articles for inclusion in the review. Articles were summarised to provide an overview of method and key findings (see Appendix 1). Data was then synthesised in a narrative review that identified key themes across the literature (section 3 of this report).

Four key themes identified across the data:
- the types of technologies used in healthcare education;
- the integration of technology into the healthcare curriculum;
- the skills and knowledge of the healthcare educators; and
- the benefits of using technology for the learners.

• It is evident that a range of technologies are currently used within healthcare education, for example: mobile devices, simulation technologies, e-learning and classroom response systems.
• The successful utilisation of technology into healthcare education requires preparation and planning, to ensure that the technology is integrated into the existing healthcare curriculum.
• The literature review highlighted a lack of standard tools for evaluating the use of technology-enhanced learning in healthcare education; it was identified that most evaluations to date have focused on learner satisfaction, the technology device, pre- and post-test scores, or Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model. It would be beneficial for educators to consider the use of Cook and Ellaway’s (2015) framework, or Pickering and Joynes’ (2016) holistic model, when preparing to integrate technology into existing healthcare programmes.
• The financial costs of purchasing, maintaining and sustaining various technologies can be a disabler to utilising technology in healthcare education. In addition, the educator’s knowledge and technical skills, and the support available from the institution (both technical and financial support) could be potential barriers to the successful integration of technology.
• The institutions that provide healthcare education have a responsibility to support their educators with developing the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively use the technology, support the learners and undertake basic troubleshooting. In addition, institutions need to explore sustainable mechanisms for funding and maintaining the technology, and providing the appropriate technical support.
• The literature highlighted that the successful integration of technology in healthcare education can provide several benefits for the learners.
• It is recommended that NWAS should review their current use of technology in healthcare education programmes in order to identify any areas for improvement.
• For maximum benefit, this should be framed by the application of learning theories/models to support the use of technology in education programmes. It may be beneficial to use models in terms of the sequential themes laid out in the Findings section (types of technology, integrating technology into education, educator’s skills and knowledge and benefits for learners) as a basis.
• This in turn will allow NWAS to review the types of technologies that are currently being used in NWAS education programmes (e.g. mobile devices, e-learning, simulation, classroom response systems); how the technologies achieve the learning outcomes of the education modules; and the extent to which the technologies have been integrated into the existing NWAS curriculum.
• Reviewing how the four themes link together will allow NWAS to assess the suitability of current mechanisms for evaluating the use of technology-enhanced learning in education programmes.
• It is also recommended that NWAS should review the skills and training of their educators in order to identify any technical training needs; this will ensure that NWAS educators are equipped to use the technologies effectively and provide technical support to the healthcare learners. Sharing examples of good practice with educators who have adapted their teaching in order to fully integrate technology into the healthcare curriculum will be on benefit for a robust educational programme.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Additional Information: This report is not publicly available as it was commissioned research and copyright belongs to the commissioner (North West Ambulance Service). However the authors published an article on this research which is open access and at:
Depositing User: Laura Snell
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2021 11:46
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:02
Edit Item