Evaluating student perceptions of a multi-platform classroom response system in undergraduate nursing
Goldie, Catherine L.
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Background Classroom response systems (CRSs) support interactive learning in undergraduate nursing education. Simple “clicker” hardware has evolved into more sophisticated multi-platform software allowing multiple operating systems and devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops to enhance in-class, proximate student engagement. However, student perspectives of multi-platform mobile CRSs have not been assessed among undergraduate nursing students. Objectives To evaluate undergraduate nursing student perceptions of usability, engagement, and learning associated with Top Hat™ CRS software. Methods This descriptive study utilized a cross sectional survey of undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) students enrolled in a four-year (n = 160) and a two-year (n = 75) accelerated program. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate learner perceptions of usability, engagement, and learning, measured using the Classroom Response System Perceptions (CRiSP) questionnaire. Thematic analysis was used to examine data from open-ended questions designed to capture qualitative feedback related to the perceived benefits, limitations and the technology's impact on learning. Results Students perceived the use of the CRS, TopHat™, as a positive influence on classroom learning. The mean CRiSP scores for all subscales [usability 16.51 (SD 2.7), engagement 40.97 (SD 7.2), learning 43.96 (SD 6.8)] correlated with “agree” or “strongly agree”. There was no statistical difference among CRiSP scores between the two programs. Students reported that CRS in the classroom improved learning, enhanced formative assessment and increased participation. Perceived limitations include practical drawbacks such as redundant features, technical difficulties, limited access and cost. Moreover, some students felt that it did not add value to teaching as it was disruptive to classroom time. Conclusions This study addresses a gap in the nursing education literature and contributes to the growing body of scientific knowledge related to using technology in proximal classroom teaching. One multi-platform CRS, TopHat™, did enhance learning but important recommendations and limitations should be considered before implementing this technology.