Technology based vs. traditional instruction: A comparison of two methods for teaching the skill of performing a 12-lead ECG

Pamela R. Jeffries, Shirley Woolf, Beverly Linde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of an interactive, multimedia CD-ROM with traditional methods of teaching the skill of performing a 12-lead ECG. A randomized pre/posttest experimental design was used. Seventy-seven baccalaureate nursing students in a required, senior-level critical-care course at a large midwestern university were recruited for the study. Two teaching methods were compared. The traditional method included a self-study module, a brief lecture and demonstration by an instructor, and hands-on experience using a plastic manikin and a real 12-lead ECG machine in the learning laboratory. The second method covered the same content using an interactive, multimedia CO-ROM embedded with virtual reality and supplemented with a self-study module. There were no significant (p < .05) baseline differences in pretest scores between the two groups and no significant differences by group in cognitive gains, student satisfaction with their learning method, or perception of self-efficacy in performing the skill. Overall results indicated that both groups were satisfied with their instructional method and were similar in their ability to demonstrate the skill correctly on a live, simulated patient. This evaluation study is a beginning step to assess new and potentially more cost-effective teaching methods and their effects on student learning outcomes and behaviors, including the transfer of skill acquisition via a computer simulation to a real patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalNursing education perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • 12-Lead ECG
  • Interactive CD-ROM
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Skill Development
  • Technology-Based Instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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