Peer learning and knowledge sharing for distance learning students using mobile phones
Niall Winters, London Knowledge Lab
Olajide Jolugbo, London Knowledge Lab
Micah Matiangi and Caroline Mbindyo, African Medical and Research Foundation
Chris Joynes, London International Development Centre
Presentation slides and audio from RIDE2012 conference:
Mobile phones, including smartphones, are becoming ubiquitous even in resource poor countries. Their size and portability make them ideal for many clinical applications, but there are as yet very few mobile phone applications specifically designed for medical education. This project involves the design and implementation of a mobile knowledge sharing application in nurse education in Kenya. This application, MyNCP (or “My Nursing Care Plan”), developed using HTML5, allows trainee nurses working in remote areas to collect data and helps them in making diagnoses. This data can be recorded and/or shared with tutors and fellow trainees. E-learning materials can be made available to the students through the phones, and nursing tutors can use the submitted data and plans to tailor their support and develop further resources. Initial evaluation of the tool has shown it to have been implemented successfully.
The mobile phone application MyNCP (My Nursing Care Plan) was developed and implemented as a data and knowledge sharing tool for trainee nurses in Kenya taking a distance-learning course run by the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). This uses a technology that is increasingly widely used in the majority world and that is convenient even in geographically remote clinical settings. It enabled nurses to collect clinical data for use during diagnosis and share it with their tutors, advisers and peers.
Four principles were followed throughout the design and implementation process. The first of these was a participatory approach, in which users and potential users of the tool were consulted extensively, for example in deciding which aspects of the curriculum would benefit most from mobile learning. Other principles adopted were a strong underpinning learning theory; the selection of phones considered likely to be widely available in Kenya within eighteen months; and the availability of ongoing support. The researchers are now investigating further areas of the nursing curriculum, and further healthcare related disciplines, that would benefit from a similar approach.