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Abstract

Context: Technology is increasingly utilized in the delivery of athletic training education. Hand-held technology affords continued education outside the classroom. Purpose: To determine the effect of mobile technology on the acquisition of knowledge and practical skills in a university upper extremity evaluation course. Design and Setting: A cohort retrospective archival assessment in a university office environment of grades and performance on written and practical examinations in an upper extremity evaluation course. Participants: Sixty-four college age participants (male n=35, 54.69%, female n=29, 45.31%) previously enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate athletic training program who completed the upper extremity evaluation course between Spring 2009 and Spring 2012. Main Outcome Measures: Dependent variables included final written examination score, final oral practical examination score, and final grade. The independent variable was the technology-enriched instruction provided using the Flashcards Deluxe application available on Android, Apple iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad devices. This application allows participants to study electronic flashcards with text, pictures, and sound on a mobile device. The control group did not receive the technology-enriched instruction. Results: A one-way between subjects ANOVA was conducted to compare the effect of technology on final written examination, final oral practical examination, and overall grade. There was a significant effect on the final written examination [F (1,63)= 11.621, p = .001,η²=.158]; however, oral practical examination [F(1,63)=0.348, p=.557,η²=.006] and overall grade [F(1,63)=0.695, p=.408,η²=.011] were not significant. Conclusion: Participants with technology-enriched instruction performed significantly better on their final written examination. Based on the findings, technology-enriched instruction improves a student’s knowledge comprehension of orthopedic principles of evaluation. Student performance was improved on written examinations following the use of electronic flashcards. Based on the findings in this study, technology-enriched instruction improves a student’s comprehension of upper extremity evaluation knowledge. It is reasonable to believe the use of flashcards would assist in student comprehension in other learning areas as well.

Author Bio(s)

  • Adrian W. Eads, MS, LAT, ATC, Athletic Trainer, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.
  • J. Jordan Hamson-Utley, PhD, LAT, ATC, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.

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