Background: Research shows that preclass activities introducing new material can increase student performance. In an effort to engage students in an active learning, preclass activity, the authors developed a mobile application. Method: Eighty-four nursing students were assigned a preclass reading exercise, whereas 32 students completed the preclass simulation scenario on their mobile device. All students completed the same electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) quiz 1 week following the lecture. The effects of reading or simulation on student quiz performance was evaluated with a student’s paired t test, using an alpha of.05. Results: Students completing the preclass simulation scored higher on the EFM quiz, compared with students assigned the preclass reading (85% versus 70% correct answers, p =.01). Student survey data indicated that the mobile device simulation was perceived as an engaging and desirable instructional tool. Conclusion: Nursing students completing the mobile device EFM preclass simulation outperformed the students who were given the traditional reading assignment.
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