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Is there a difference in previous computing experience, computing knowledge and attitudes to computers between nursing and other first year University students?

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Evelyn Hovenga, Kevin Tickle
Three years experience in teaching an introductory health informatics unit and an attitude survey of first year health science students last year has highlighted the fact that some students are very proficient computers users, others have never used one. Furthermore just over 50% of these first year students were found to have a negative attitude towards the use of computers and/or to have a fear of using them. A survey of a random selection of first year students at the Rockhampton campus was conducted during week 1 of the first term in 1999. Our aim was to establish the extent of variation in levels of knowledge about computers, competence in using computers and attitudes towards using computers amongst first year students at CQU. Of particular interest was the extent and type of differences that may exist between those students entering the health professions especially nursing and all other first year students. The survey tool adopted for this study was one which was adapted from a tool developed by the Institute of Computer Based Learning by Marlene Sinclair and Prof. John Gardner from the Queen’s University of Belfast. For our data analysis we used the same factor analysis protocols as devised by these researchers and a chi square statistic as appropriate. This study revealed significant differences on the basis of course studied and gender on all parameters studied. Both female students and the health group had the lowest mean score. Other groups had a higher proportion of female students yet scored better than the health group. It may be that Nursing students in particular have a stronger feminine orientation than the average beginning female student. This warrants further research. The paper includes an overview of the relevant literature.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


Parent Title

HIC 99 : proceedings.

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages


Start Date





Hobart, Tas.


Health Informatics Society of Australia

Place of Publication

Brunswick East, Victoria

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Informatics and Communication;

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

National Health Informatics Conference

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