Original Research

Perspectives of nursing students on challenges of e-learning during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic

Vistolina Nuuyoma, Sydney S. Lauliso, Leonard Chihururu
Curationis | Vol 46, No 1 | a2358 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v46i1.2358 | © 2023 Vistolina Nuuyoma, Sydney S. Lauliso, Leonard Chihururu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 June 2022 | Published: 01 February 2023

About the author(s)

Vistolina Nuuyoma, School of Nursing and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia
Sydney S. Lauliso, School of Nursing and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia
Leonard Chihururu, School of Nursing and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia

Abstract

Background: E-learning is becoming an important approach to teaching and learning in higher education institutions, including nursing training. Despite that, there are students who were never introduced to e-learning prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Their challenges in relation to e-learning could differ from those of other students who had experienced the platform before, especially against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought an abrupt change in the approach to teaching, learning and assessment.

Objectives: This study explored and described university nursing students’ challenges in relation to e-learning during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in a resource-constrained setting.

Method: Qualitative exploratory and contextual design was used. The sample consisted of 17 participants who were conveniently selected, and data were collected by means of two focus groups and five individual interviews. Data analysis followed a qualitative content analysis process.

Results: The five categories emanated from analysis are e-learning mode not suitable for practical components, challenges related to assessment of learning, connectivity issues, e-learning is a lonely journey and computer illiteracy and limited skills for the use of e-learning.

Conclusion: Nursing students’ challenges regarding e-learning during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the learning of practical components, assessment, connectivity, a lack of interaction with peers and a lack of the skills required to operate e-learning tools.

Contribution: The findings have implications for international, regional and local contexts in helping to develop support systems and preparing students to use e-learning when it is introduced abruptly.


Keywords

e-learning; e-learning challenges; COVID-19 pandemic; online learning; nursing education; resource-constrained settings; web-based learning

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