Can Technology Improve Engagement and Confidence in an Undergraduate Research Class?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Cara Gallegos


Purpose: To determine the impact of technology on student engagement in a nursing research course and to describe nursing students’ confidence in research and evidence-based practice (EBP) skills.

Background: Despite benefits of EBP in clinical decision-making, EBP is not the standard of care practiced consistently across the U.S. To establish nursing competencies in EBP and research skills, BSN programs typically require a research course. Unfortunately, demonstrating the significance of a research course to nursing students and engaging them to learn EBP skills has shown to be difficult. Using mobile technologies could promote student engagement through active and collaborative learning.

Methods: A descriptive design was used to describe student confidence in EBP and research skills, and the impact of mobile device use on student engagement. Following IRB approval, 58 students in an undergraduate nursing research course completed an 16 question likert scale survey.

Results: Students report increased confidence in their EBP and research skills. Students agreed that using a mobile device in their research class helped them develop skills that they can apply to academics and participate in course activities that enhance learning.

Implications: Requiring a baccalaureate nursing research class is essential to developing student confidence in research and EBP skills, as well as in applying this material to solve problems. Further studies should be implemented to evaluate mobile device use further, as well as student skill proficiency in practice after graduation.


Diemer, T.T., Fernandez El, & Streepey, J.W., (2012). Student perceptions of classroom engagement and learning using iPads. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 1, 13-25.

Halcomb, E. J., Peters, K. (2009). Nursing student feedback on undergraduate research education: Implications for teaching and learning. Contemporary Nurse, 33 (1), 59-68. Retrieved on June 1, 2016.

Melnyk, B. M., Gallagher-Ford, L., Long, L. E., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2014). The establishment of evidence-based practice competencies for practicing registered nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses in real-world clinical settings: Proficiencies to improve healthcare quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 11(1), 5-15. doi:10.1111/wvn.12021

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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