An exploration of the influence of mobile technologies on pre-registration physiotherapy student learning

Parr, Michael Kenneth (2021) An exploration of the influence of mobile technologies on pre-registration physiotherapy student learning. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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BACKGROUND: Educational learning that is mediated by mobile i.e., tablets, mini-tablets and mobile phones, has gained popularity due to the ubiquitous nature of these types of technology and their ability to provide free and autonomous learning. Given that estimations of mobile user numbers by 2023, are projected at 7.26 billion, there is considerable interest in this area. Mobile has the potential to promote authentic learning but also, the ability to distract and therefore is eschewed by some learners and educators alike. Acceptance of mobile for learning has been explored through various acceptance models, however these usually apply to institutionally selected technology. This study proposes to explore acceptance and influence of personal mobile technologies using a group of pre-registration student studying physiotherapy.

How does a pre-registration student physiotherapy population use mobile mediated learn-ing as a vehicle for learning in a specific professional context?

STUDY AIM: To explore how mobile technology is used by pre-registration physiotherapy students and identify the influence that mobile mediated learning plays in their professional development.

METHODOLOGY: A sequential explanatory mixed-methods paradigm around technology acceptance and learning theory utilised quantitative statistical analysis and a framework data handling and analysis approach.

METHODS: A survey questionnaire was developed and was used to gather opinion statements using convenience sampling, (n=163), around the usefulness of mobile mediated learning. Factor analysis was used to identify three separate constructs within the questionnaire and a further hierarchical cluster analysis identified three independent groups within the sample. Kruskal-Wallis tests showed significant differences between the constructs in the three groups, showing different levels of acceptance. This data was used to identify participants for semi-structured interviews who were recruited using a maximum variance sample. Follow up semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 participants, who were purposively selected from each of the groups to investigate the acceptance and influence of mobile technology in greater depth.

RESULTS: Analysis of questionnaires demonstrated significant differences across two of the questionnaire constructs between the groups. Semi-structured interviews identified four emergent themes, demonstrating that pre-registration physiotherapy participants use mobile mediated learning to develop clinical skills, primarily using self-created video. They favour an expeditious approach to learning and use mobile technologies as a support tool for learning, reflection, and collaboration. Differing levels of digital literacy mediated through mobile dictated the ability to overcome some barriers presented by mobile technology and may help to foster a connected approach to learning, alongside longer established methods, such as written resources.

CONCLUSION: Mobile mediated learning is an important support tool that can help develop clinical skills and competencies through use of self-created and publicly available video. It engages learners due to its ease of use and helps facilitate collaborative and individual learning through social media communications and face to face discussion. These may help facilitate both skill development (via multimedia) and cognitive understanding. The implicit nature of this, suggests that mediated mobile learning is understated and that educators can utilise both social learning theory and connectivist models to facilitate these skills. Additionally, institutions may consider how learners can address and overcome barriers to mobile learning if a connected approach is desirable.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mobile Mediated Learning, Clinical Skills Development, Digital Learning Theory, Smartphone, Mixed Methods
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
G500 Information Systems
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 08:40
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2021 10:45

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