• computer-based learning;
  • pedagogy;
  • constructivism;
  • underware;
  • nursing

Background.  E-learning is becoming increasingly incorporated into educational programmes. Digital materials usually require a lot of investment in terms of time, money and human resources. With advances in technology, delivery of content has much improved in terms of multimedia elements. However, often only low-level learning is achieved as a result of using these materials.

Aim.  The purpose of this article is to give a comprehensive overview of some of the most important issues to consider when incorporating e-learning into educational programmes.

Discussion.  Computer-based learning has three components: hardware, software and ‘underware’, the pedagogy that underpins its development. The latter is the most important, as the approach adopted will influence the creation of computer-based learning materials and determine the way in which students engage with subject matter. Teachers are responsible for the quality of their courses and have a vital role in helping to develop the most appropriate electronic learning activities that will facilitate students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for clinical practice. Therefore, they need to have an awareness of what contributes to educationally effective, computer-based learning materials.