Just-in-time research: a call to arms for research into mobile technologies in higher education

  • Lucie Byrne-Davis Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Hilary Dexter Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Jo Hart Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Tim Cappelli Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Ged Byrne Health Education England, Liverpool, UK
  • Ian Sampson Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Jane Mooney Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Colin Lumsden Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Keywords: clinical learning, just-in-time technology, mobile technologies, survey, tablet computers, undergraduate medical education

Abstract

Mobile technologies are becoming commonplace in society and in education. In higher education, it is crucial to understand the impact of constant access to information on the development of the knowledge and competence of the learner. This study reports on a series of four surveys completed by UK-based medical students (n=443) who received tablet computers (iPads) from their medical school during their 4th year of study. Students were surveyed prior to receiving the iPads and again regarding their usage and experiences at 2, 6 and 12 months post receipt of tablets. Findings indicate that students differed in their use of iPads but that the majority felt that tablets had impacted on their learning and the majority were using them frequently (at least once a day) during learning. Almost half of the students reported that clinical supervisors had raised the possibility of tablets changing patient care. These results, although only descriptive, raise important questions about the impact of mobile technologies on learning.

Keywords: clinical learning; just-in-time technology; mobile technologies; survey; tablet computers; undergraduate medical education

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2015, 23: 25653 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.25653

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Author Biographies

Lucie Byrne-Davis, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Lucie Byrne-Davis is a Health Psychologist and a Lecturer in assessment and psychometrics.  She is co-lead of the Manchester Medical School mtechnology research group and her research interests are in teaching and learning, including healthcare professional behaviour change and the educational benefits of international placements.

Hilary Dexter, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Hilary Dexter is a systems analyst, researcher and consultant.  Her current focus is on developing a systemic approach to understanding and supporting workbased learning and to provision of services for supporting teaching, learning, research and administration processes.  She is lead for Education Informatics at Manchester Medical School 

Jo Hart, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Jo Hart is a Health Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer in communication.  Her main research interests are in health professional behaviour change and communication of behaviour change between healthcare professionals and patients.

Tim Cappelli, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Tim Cappelli is a Project Manager responsible for implementing and managing the iPads initiative at Manchester Medical School (MMS). With 1500 iPad-carrying students, this remains the first and largest deployment of tablets in any UK University. He also manages the technology enhanced learning team at MMS. Tim still uses his original iPad 1 with its cracked screen, but knows his way around iOS7!
Ged Byrne, Health Education England, Liverpool, UK

Ged Byrne is the Director of Education and Quality for Health Education North West.  He is an Honorary Professor of medical education in University of Manchester and University of Salford.  His research and development interests are in workforce development and transformational change, both in the UK and internationally.

Ian Sampson, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Ian Sampson is Foundation Doctor and was one of the original Manchester Medical School ‘iPad Gurus’.  He completed a project option whilst at Medical School which explored the differences between high, moderate and low adopters of iPads during the pilot phase of the iPad project.
Jane Mooney, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Jane Mooney is the Academic Lead for digital media at Manchester Medical School and co-lead of the mtechnology research group.  Her interests are in technology enhanced learning, digital media and gamification of education.

Colin Lumsden, Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Colin Lumsden is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, an Honorary Consultant Paediatrician and the Manchester Medical School Academic Lead for elearning.

Published
2015-04-20
How to Cite
Byrne-Davis, L., Dexter, H., Hart, J., Cappelli, T., Byrne, G., Sampson, I., Mooney, J., & Lumsden, C. (2015). Just-in-time research: a call to arms for research into mobile technologies in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 23. https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.25653
Section
Original Research Articles