Exploring Nursing Students' Learning Experiences and Attitudes toward Older Persons in a Gerontological Nursing Course Using Self-regulated Online Enquiry-based Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study.

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleTeaching and learningpeer-review


Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities adopted online teaching as the primary teaching and learning method. Most of the online teaching, however, has been limited to the broadcasting of asynchronous lectures and sharing of teaching materials.

Objectives: To explore undergraduate nursing students' self-regulated learning experiences, satisfaction, and attitudes toward older persons in a gerontological nursing course using online self-regulated enquiry-based learning (EBL) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: A mixed-methods design was adopted.

Setting: A university in Hong Kong providing pre-registration nursing programmes.

Participants: 155 students studying in the fourth year in a five-year Bachelor of Nursing programme participated in the quantitative study in which 18 joined the focus groups (4 groups with group size of 4-5).

Methods: Five video-based scenarios along with two interactive online workshops, a mind-map development exercise, gamified assessments, reading materials, group discussions, and presentations were adopted in a gerontological nursing course offered in 2019-2020 to enhance the students' learning, driven by a process of enquiry. Attitudes toward older people were measured at baseline and one week after the course (post-test). Information on self-regulated learning experiences, satisfaction, and confidence were collected at post-test only. Paired t-tests and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Focus groups were conducted through semi-structured interviews and transcribed verbatim for inductive content analysis.

Results: A significant improvement was demonstrated in the students' attitude toward older people. The students appreciated the opportunities provided by the online EBL to apply key concepts of gerontology in the teaching and learning activities and to enhance their critical thinking skills. Three major themes were revealed from the focus group: Perception of the teaching pedagogy, Improvement of cognitive skills, and Positive and negative aspects of the learning experience.

Conclusions: The online self-regulated EBL improved the students' online learning experience in a gerontological nursing course during the pandemic and improved their attitudes toward older people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • COVID-19; Enquiry-based learning; Geriatrics; Nursing students; Teaching.

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