To what extent does situated cognition learning theory explain the learning experience of registered nurses and midwives enrolled on a skill-based blended learning programme
: A qualitative exploration

  • Briege King

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctorate in Nursing Practice


This thesis presents a study which focused on how a blended learning, skills-based programme, embedded in the Situated Cognition Learning Theory (SCLT) explained the learning experience of registered nurses and midwives. It explores the impact in which the principles of SCLT had on student learning, and how such a learning approach can enhance the students’ ability to apply the knowledge and skill acquired in the clinical environment. Finally, the thesis explores the learning experience for students, when the SCLT skills-based education programme is integrated through blended learning. Design Methodology: A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory, sequential design was adopted, to explore the learning experience of fifteen registered nurses and midwives. Data collection of fifteen student participants was by individual semi-structured interviews. A focus group of three lecturers considered the analysed findings of the student interviews. Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis framework (Braun and Clarke, 2006), generated four themes: (i) the effect the SCLT teaching interventions had on learning, (ii) effects on learning achievement, (iii) effects on clinical skill performance and (iv) the overall learning experience. Findings revealed the principles of SCLT which emerged as key for inclusion for skills-based learning included authenticity of the environment, activities and assessment, multiplicity of roles, need for collaborative learning, and access to expert practice.

Thesis embargoed until 31 July 2024

Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsDundalk Institute of Technology
SupervisorKevin Gormley (Supervisor) & Peter O'Halloran (Supervisor)


  • Situated Cognition
  • situated learning
  • situated cognition learning Theory
  • registered nurses
  • registered midwives
  • blended learning
  • skills-based edcuation

Cite this