Using the WWW to teach undergraduate nurses clinical communication Academic Article uri icon


  • On-line learning is increasingly being used in nursing education. Nevertheless, there is still insufficient evidence to demonstrate: whether students respond positively when this form of learning is used to teach relatively practical or clinical subjects; whether it is effective; and whether it is fair to students with less access to, or familiarity with, computers and the internet. In 2003, an on-line Unit on clinical communication was developed for Australian undergraduate nurses in partnership between an Australian School of Nursing and the Department of Clinical Psychology. Students were overwhelmingly positive in their evaluation of the Unit although some regretted the lack of face-to-face contact with tutors and peers. The best aspects of the Unit included the content and structure being perceived as interesting, fun and informative, the relevance of the material for them as nurses, flexibility to work independently, promotion of critical thinking and gaining an understanding of client issues. Neither their evaluation nor their final grades were related to students' age or whether they preferred on-line or traditional learning. Students who had readily available computer access, however, had better final grades. Also, students' grades were correlated with how often they accessed the Unit.

publication date

  • July 2007