University of Oulu

Scand J Caring Sci; 2019 Digital collaborative learning in nursing education: a systematic review

Digital collaborative learning in nursing education : a systematic review

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Author: Männistö, Merja1,2; Mikkonen, Kristina1; Kuivila, Heli-Maria1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Health Care and Nursing, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland
3Health Care Diagnostic Services and Service Management, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
4Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5The Finnish Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-09-05


Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of educational interventions in digital collaborative learning implemented in nursing education.

Design: A systematic literature review of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was carried out in accordance with Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) and Centre for Reviews and Dissemination guidelines and the PRISMA statement.

Data sources: CINAHL (EBSCO), ERIC, MEDLINE (Ovid) and Scopus databases were used to identify original peer‐reviewed RCT studies published between 2003 and 2018.

Review method: The ‘hits’ were systematically screened by title, abstract and full text by two authors acting independently. The quality of the selected original studies was evaluated using the quality assessment criteria of the JBI and Cochrane collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials. The studies were analysed by narrative synthesis.

Results: Five peer‐reviewed RCT studies were included in the review. All participants in these studies (647 in total) were nursing students exposed to educational interventions in various nursing programme courses. The reviewed studies indicated that digital collaborative learning increased students’ knowledge and nursing skills. The results show that collaborative learning in digital learning environments enhanced nursing students’ interaction and collaborative skills, problem‐solving skills, satisfaction and motivation for learning.

Conclusion: Collaborative learning in digital learning environments has encouraging effects in enhancing nursing students’ knowledge, competence, satisfaction and problem‐solving skills. Moreover, evidence‐based digital collaborative learning is becoming increasingly effective in nursing education, as available tools and teachers’ abilities to use them are improving and providing new learning activities to boost students’ learning outcomes in higher education. Thus, its systematic use in digital collaborative learning environments in various nursing courses is recommended.

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Series: Scandinavian journal of caring sciences
ISSN: 0283-9318
ISSN-E: 1471-6712
ISSN-L: 0283-9318
Volume: Online first
Issue: Online first
Pages: 1 - 13
DOI: 10.1111/scs.12743
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: This study has been funded by VTR‐funding (Oulu University Hospital).
Copyright information: © 2019 Nordic College of Caring Science. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Scand J Caring Sci; 2019 Digital collaborative learning in nursing education: a systematic review , which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.