Formative evaluation of a computer-assisted learning program in pharmacology for nursing students

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Previous literature on evaluation of computer-assisted learning (CAL) programs has generally not emphasized the importance of evaluation during the design and development phases. A tendency toward an objective model of evaluation rather than a naturalistic model has also meant that there is little consideration given to the context in which students learn. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the benefits of using a combination of objective and naturalistic models when undertaking a formative evaluation of a computer-assisted learning program. During the design and development phases, the program, Pharmacology Resource for Nurses (PRN), was evaluated using observation of student pairs, student questionnaires, and student focus group interviews to address the complex issues underlying program effectiveness. This study confirmed the importance and value of collecting a variety of evaluation data in order to produce a useful learning program for students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-assisted learning
  • Education
  • Evaluation
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacology

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