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Celebrating new e-learning tools for nursing students

Two apps featuring digital learning for nursing students made it to the final in the 2018 ECIU Team Award.

The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) promotes innovation in teaching and learning in several ways. Among them is the annual Team Award, for which member universities can nominate new creations in this field.

In 2018, some 13 innovations were submitted to the judging committee. Among the three finalists were the apps Erasmusnursing and Digisim, created by the universities of Stavanger, Nottingham and Valencia.

Their cooperation on these projects has furthered European nursing education across borders, and delivered better tools for teaching health personnel.

Multimedia app

The Erasmusnursing app was published in 2017 and contains several topics relevant for European nursing education. The multimedia e-learning app includes elements such as simulation games, images and exercises and is usable on many devices and platforms, online and offline. All text was recorded and published separately as podcasts through iTunesU and other channels.

Students can use the app for training in eight topics. Four are nursing-focused:

  • skin and wound care
  • temperature regulation
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • nutrition

The other four are biology focused:

  • neurophysiology
  • anatomy and physiology of the heart
  • kidney anatomy and physiology
  • respiratory physiology

The Erasmusnursing app is available in both Norwegian, Spanish and English and includes guidelines for use addressing students, teachers and technical staff.

Practical skills

The second app, still in development, is called Digisim. Based on experiences, student feed-back and qualitative focus group interviews with students regarding Erasmusnursing, researchers recognized a need of for further development of the app that included practical skills. 

Skill training is an essential component of nursing students’ education programmes, yet complex, time-consuming and demanding extensive lecture resources.

Previous research has shown that clinical skills appear to be a global educational challenge. Furthermore, experience shows that failure rates on students` clinical assessments are high.

Several scenarios

The project group is therefore currently developing a simulation skill-training app for use in the same population. The simulation tool includes a package of simulation scenarios addressing various essential nursing skills and procedures relevant for all three partner countries.

The simulation app will cover three approaches to students’ skill training: preparation/demonstration films, simulation and scoring and voice guided training.

Group leadership

The research and development group was led by:

About the award

ECIU Team award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning aims to promote, celebrate and showcase innovations in teaching and learning activities that involve groups and/or interdisciplinary teams, in keeping with ECIU’s mission of Challenging Conventional Thinking for tomorrow’s world, today.

More specifically, the award is designed to:

  1. Recognise teaching and learning innovations of groups and/or interdisciplinary teams amongst ECIU member institutions;
  2. Recognise and acknowledge those groups and/or interdisciplinary teams within and across ECIU member institutions who undertake innovations in teaching and learning;
  3. Utilise the ECIU as a key hub and driver for the promotion of sustainable teaching and learning innovations in Europe

Text and picture: Leiv Gunnar Lie

Celebrating new e-learning tools for nursing students

Kristin Hjorthaug Urstad (left) and Petter Mordt (right) demonstrating Erasmusnursing at the ECIU anniversary in Brussels, 2017.