Do we need to rethink… …critical thinking?

Consideration of Mobile Learning in healthcare education

  • Todd Stretton Auckland University of Technology
Keywords: critical thinking, healthcare, extended reality, pedagogy, mobile learning, design-based research


Critical thinking skills are essential for safe and effective healthcare practice (Carbogim et al., 2018; Chan, 2013; Fero et al., 2010). However, recent reports express a growing concern of under-developed critical thinking in graduates (Fero et al., 2010) compounded by the shortage of clinical healthcare practitioners and pressures on educational institutes to meet market demand (World Health Organization, 2019). There is growing evidence to support the development of graduates’ critical thinking by incorporating heutagogical approaches that promote self-determined; social; flexible; situated and problem-based learning (Theobald & Ramsbotham, 2019; Thomas, Menon, Boruff, Rodriguez, & Ahmed, 2014) which can be facilitate by virtual learning environments. 


Mobile extended reality (mXR) has been utilised in industry training to develop procedural and critical thinking skills and has some identified benefits in nursing education (Carbogim et al., 2018; Fero et al., 2010). However, the design principles and transference to other clinical programmes is yet to be established. There is a need to redefine the facilitation of critical thinking skills in clinical healthcare higher education using mXR. This brief presentation will explore the concept and theory behind the use of mXR; the potential impact on learning critical thinking skills, and tentative design principles for healthcare education.


The use of mXR to facilitate critical thinking skills in clinical healthcare education may provide an alternative to current practices that are less situated; encourage self-determination and enhance problem-based learning which are vital for clinical practice.


Carbogim, F. D. C., Barbosa, A. C. S., de Oliviera, L. B., de Sá Diaz, F. B. B., Toledo, L. V., Alves, K. R., . . . Püschel, V. A. D. A. (2018). Educational intervention to improve critical thinking for undergraduate nursing students: A randomized clinical trial. Nurse Education in Practice, 33, 121-126. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2018.10.001

Chan, Z. C. Y. (2013). A systematic review of critical thinking in nursing education. Nurse Education Today, 33(3), 236-240. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.01.007

Fero, L. J., O'Donnell, J. M., Zullo, T. G., Dabbs, A. D., Kitutu, J., Samosky, J. T., & Hoffman, L. A. (2010). Critical thinking skills in nursing students: Comparison of simulation-based performance with metrics. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(10), 2182-2193. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05385.x

World Health Organization. (2019). Health Workforce: Education and Training. Retrieved from

Theobald, K. A., & Ramsbotham, J. (2019). Inquiry-based learning and clinical reasoning scaffolds: An action research project to support undergraduate students' learning to ‘think like a nurse’. Nurse Education in Practice, 38, 59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2019.05.018

Thomas, A., Menon, A., Boruff, J., Rodriguez, A. M., & Ahmed, S. (2014). Applications of social constructivist learning theories in knowledge translation for healthcareprofessionals: A scoping review. Implementation Science, 9(1), 54-74. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-9-54


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...
How to Cite
Stretton, T. (2019). Do we need to rethink… …critical thinking? Consideration of Mobile Learning in healthcare education. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(1), 17.
SOTEL2020 Symposium