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Int J Nurs Stud. 1992 Nov;29(4):411-25.

Empirical evidence shows that measuring users' opinions is not a satisfactory way of evaluating computer-assisted learning in nurse education.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, U.K.


Users' opinions have been one of the cornerstones of the evaluation of both CAL, in general, and CAL packages, in particular, in nurse education. This paper reports on two experiments that reliably show student nurses' opinions of their current computer-use are formed more by the change from a previously-used computing facility rather than the actual features that the current one possesses. The use of such opinions as a valid evaluation measure within nursing CAL is, consequently, weakened. The evaluation context in which these experiments are conducted derives from the highly-researched multidisciplinary area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and the experiments are introduced and discussed with respect to the HCI concepts of computer-use and usability which examine the interactions taking place at the human-computer interface. Graphical hypertext and the doctrine of functionality are also introduced and discussed, for these aspects have considerable implications for computer-use and the process of planning and choosing computer-use facilities within nurse education.

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