Developing Q-methodology to explore staff views toward the use of technology in nurse education

Nurse Res. 2010;18(1):58-71. doi: 10.7748/nr2010.


Technology in education is moving quickly in terms of the hardware and software applications available, but also due to the expectations of an increasingly digitally competent student population. Academics have to rethink their pedagogy in relation to these changes. Nurse educators, in particular, must face the challenge of effectively integrating technology into what is essentially a hands-on, people-centred profession. To date, the factors most commonly cited as barriers to the adoption of e-learning by academics have focused on explicit and tangible ('hard') issues. Less frequently mentioned are the implicit and tacit ('soft') factors which are harder to identify. This article describes a pilot study using Q-methodology to explore the limitations of commonly used research methods in identifying how these hard and soft issues are prioritised by individuals, through the voices of nurse educators.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Computers*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Faculty, Nursing* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Q-Sort*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Workplace / psychology