e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Digital Literacy in UK Health Education: What Can Be Learnt from International Research?

Barry Matthews 1 *

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 13, Issue 4, Article No: ep317

Submitted: 09 March 2021, Published Online: 13 July 2021

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Introduction: To meet the ambition of the UK becoming the global leader in health technology, the future workforce needs to have a developed digital literacy. The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the move to online learning has also increased the requirement for a reinvention of traditional teaching methodologies (Sá & Serpa, 2020).
Methodology: A systematic review was conducted using a mix of Boolean search terms in twelve education and health journal databases to discover the extent of current international research of digital literacy in health programmes.  Papers were selected for their specificity to digital literacy in health education pre-registration professional programmes.
Results: The initial search included 5359 papers, 3925 after duplicates removed, 134 remained after title review which were then input into Covidence for full reading, finally 47 papers being included for thematic analysis. This thematic analysis identified a number of key themes within these papers: digital literacy of the educator, digital literate workforce, technical skills limit adoption, information literacy, a curriculum requirement in education, institutional infrastructure or personal access, preparedness for entering academia, concerns over the use of digital skills, personalised digital literacy experience, increased communication skills with digital literacies, competency frameworks, COVID-19 and social media in education.
Conclusion: This research identifies areas of good practice and areas that need to be considered in higher education programmes and by academics to ensure the digital literacy of the future healthcare workforce.



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