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This paper reports the findings of a research project investigating the use of iPods by student nurses to enhance their interactions with content, instructors and peers while located at a distance from their university campus. Wireless handheld devices (WHD) are an important tool in nursing environments that are undergoing rapid technological change. Preferred treatments, drug dosages, postsurgical care, and preventive healthcare regimens continually change and such devices allow students to rapidly confirm information while in the clinical area, thus fostering active learning and safe practice. A case study approach was adopted with each participating student cohort comprising a case. Multiple data collection methods were used to enable rich descriptions of each case. This paper focusses on factors, relating to the use of iPods, which influenced student learning in distance courses at two regional Queensland universities. It furthermore highlights a range of creative interventions reported by students and educators in resolving issues with their devices. The study found that connectivity difficulties, technology literacy level, compatibility of study resources with the WHDs, and small screen size were all factors that impacted negatively on the use of iPods in distance courses. The paper describes the responses of students and educators to the use of iPods for learning. This study concluded that nursing students and nursing educators alike may experience problems when WHD's are introduced to courses as a platform for learning. However, both students and educators can be innovative and resourceful in managing these problems and, when access to course resources that were enabled for viewing on the WHDs were available, the learning experience of the students and the teaching experience for the educators were enhanced.

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Journal Article

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