Survey on Online Learning Behaviour and Perspectives among Nursing Students in Higher Education in Hong Kong

Hemio C Y Lam, Jessie Y S Chung, Simon C Lam and Summer C N Siu
The Open University of Hong Kong
Hong Kon SAR, China

Lily S Li
Beijing Normal University
Beijing, China

The rapid advances in mobile technology are making online learning more popular. A recent study showed that the effectiveness of online learning is comparable to the face-to-face learning mode in Hong Kong (Kekkonen-Moneta & Moneta, 2002). However, there is a lack of information about what makes online learning effective. To address this issue, this study aims to investigate the online learning pattern and attitudes toward online learning among nursing students in Hong Kong. Nursing students are selected because they are required to access the Open Learning Environment (OLE) frequently during their clinical practicums.

This is a cross-sectional survey study. A convenience sample of 808 full-time Year 1, 2 and 4 nursing students was recruited in the Open University of Hong Kong. After deleting data with missing items, the final sample consisted of 703 students (attrition rate = 13%). The participants were asked to rate their online learning behavioural patterns and their attitude toward online learning on a 5-point Likert scale.

The results showed that, on average, the participants spent three hours on online learning per week. The devices used for online learning were (according to frequency) notebooks, mobile devices, desktop computers at home and desktop computer in the University. The participants reported positive attitudes toward the following aspects of online learning: flexibility, convenience of knowledge acquisitio, and ease of sharing. They rated the following as disadvantages: discomfort caused by prolonged viewing of a computer screen; less convenient than a hardcopy; and inefficient self-regulated learning. The findings revealed that nursing students were well adapted to using various devices in online learning and appraised this learning platform positively. This shows that the development of online course materials and even mobile applications are justified.