Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

First Advisor

Lucas Vasconcelos


In recent years, concern has been expressed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National League for Nursing (NLN) that nursing school graduates lack critical thinking skills needed to provide increasingly complex care to today’s hospitalized patient. Although the use of educational technology in the classroom has been associated with improved critical thinking and performance, some instructors at schools of nursing remain reluctant to integrating technology into their pedagogy. Barriers to technology integration include limited knowledge in the use of technology, perceived low self-efficacy, concerns about training, and long-term support.

This study examined factors that affect instructor and student perceptions and attitudes towards educational technology integration in a hospital-based nursing program. These research questions guided this study: (1) what factors influence instructor use of educational technology for teaching theoretical knowledge of nursing, (2) how do instructors use educational technology in teaching theoretical knowledge of nursing, (3) what are student perceptions about the use of educational technologies for learning theoretical knowledge of nursing, and (4) what are student attitudes towards how educational technology is used in teaching theoretical knowledge of nursing? A convergent parallel mixed methods study consisting of qualitative and quantitative data was developed. The Instructor Technology Survey (ITS) was administered to eight full-time instructors and a composite survey consisting of subscales from the Computer Technology Integration (CTI) survey and the Technology Attitude Survey (TAS) was administered to 65 students to measure the attitudes of both groups towards educational technology. In addition, one-to-one interviews and focus group interviews were conducted with instructors and students respectively to triangulate both qualitative and quantitative data about attitudes of these groups. Because the two groups being examined had such different demographics and positions, it was felt that there might be vast differences in the perceptions and attitudes towards using educational technology in the classroom. Upon examination of the findings of surveys, interviews and focus groups, it was noted that these groups of participants were not vastly divergent, but both had hopes and concerns about the possibilities educational technology could bring to the classroom. Benefits identified by both groups included potential for increased student interest in the subject matter being presented and a heightened level of involvement in the classroom. Likewise, both groups identified similar challenges. Instructors identified limited time to incorporate technology into their pedagogy and a limited amount of professional development as challenges that needed to be overcome. Students also described challenges such as the need for preparation prior to class with having already oversubscribed schedules. Student concern about instructor capabilities in managing the technology were also expressed. In conclusion, educational technology can play an important role in educating the next generation of nurses. Recommendations for future practice and future research directions are discussed.