1137 Perceptions of the use of technology in a blended learning occupational health nursing programme in durban, south africa

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IntroductionBlended learning refers to an educational strategy that combines face-to-face classroom instruction with on-line learning. This teaching strategy was introduced into an occupational health nursing (OHN) programme at the Durban University of Technology in 2011.MethodsA mixed methods convergent design was used to merge concurrent quantitative and qualitative data to address the study aim. Quantitative data were collected from student cohorts and qualitative data were collected from all the OHN programme lecturers. The Perceptions about the use of web-based learning was used to measure current OHN student perceptions of web-based learning in the OHN programme. The demographic and work-related instrument measured person-related factors. Qualitative data were collected using three semi-structured interview questions.Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS v22. Two-tailed Pearson product moment correlations and t-tests were computed on the six factors between the scores of first and second year students. Qualitative data were analysed using the applied thematic analysis methodology.ResultComputer anxiety was significantly higher for first year students compared to second-year students (t=4.08, p<0.001). Lecturers also indicated barriers to using on-line technology for teaching.DiscussionBlended learning, a useful teaching strategy, has the potential to advance the OHN specialisation programme at DUT through the numerous opportunities for collaborative learning that the online technology affords. However, the challenges faced by both lecturers and students need to be addressed through focused interventions to ensure the optimal use of this teaching/learning strategy.

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