Concept of Distance Education In Nursing

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Prose and Cones of Distance Education In Nursing

Concept of Distance Education In Nursing

Distance Education at  International Levels,Distance Education and Application In Nursing,Issue of Distance Education In Nursing,Outcomes of Distance Education In Nursing.

Whats Is Distance Education at  International Levels

    Distance education is a broad term that describes teaching and learning when the student and teacher are separated by time and space. Early forms of distance education included print media (correspondence courses and independent study modules), broadcast television, videoconferencing, and audio conferencing using a dial-up telephone with multiple connecting ports. With the advent of the Internet, online teaching (full web courses or online courses blended with onsite learning experiences) and Internet videoconferencing and webinars (web seminars) have replaced these formats. 

    Emerging technologies such as Second Life (Schmidt & Stewart, 2010) and other virtual excursions and e-simulations follow the basic concepts of distance education by promoting learning just in time regardless of the proximity of the learner and educator. Recently, massively open online courses (MOOCs) are another format for offering nursing content (Billings, 2014).Distance education offerings can be held synchronously, where all members of the learning community are present at the same time by using tools such as the telephone, chat, webinar, or videoconferencing. 

    In asynchronous formats, learners and faculty interact independently of time, and communicate through discussion forums, archived video. "Lectures, blogs, wikis, and other tool components that are provided via a learning management system (LMS). Recent developments in LMSS such as the ability to authenticate the participant and the participant's work, use of software that facilitates peer learning and peer review of participant's work, capabilities for small group work, and language translation capabilities have increased the support for global use of distance education.

Distance Education and Application In Nursing

    Distance education is used to facilitate access to education for learners who cannot easily travel to the source of instruction, to provide convenience for learners who are working during the time the instruction is offered, and to recruit new learners. Distance education is widely used in nursing education, particularly to offer graduate degrees and certificates, to provide continuing education, orient new staff, and update nurses' competencies in clinical agencies, as well as for client instruction.

    Distance education is also used to internationalize learning experiences for nurses. Several examples include the increasing use of MOOCs to attract a diverse and global audience. Online courses and archived webinars can be offered globally with the course content being offered at one site and the clinical experiences and application of course concepts offered worldwide.

Issue of Distance Education In Nursing 

    One of the biggest issues is the cost involved in offering distance delivered courses, and particularly those offered at sites that require expensive infrastructure development to participate in course offerings. The costs include purchase or lease of software and hardware, adequate bandwidth to support transmission of images, and technical support to maintain the learning system and user support for course design. Time is also required to orient users to technology and new modes of teaching and learning. The need for resources may be more acute in countries where the requisite infrastructure is not in place.

    Teaching at a distance uses specific pedagogical approaches to develop courses and to facilitate them. Faculty orientation is essential as is the allocation of time for faculty to prepare for these changes and design or redesign their course (Johnson & Meehan, 2013)Reviews of the literature confirm that distance education is effective (Mancuso Murphy, 2007), Learning outcomes of distance delivered education are the same as those when the instruction is offered on campus (Coose, 2010) Broome , Halstead, Pesut , Rawl , and Boland (2011) found that doctoral programs could be offered at a distance without compromising outcomes. 

    Learners who participate in distance education are satisfied with the learning experience, particularly due to the access and convenience of remaining employed in their community while studying at a well-regarded school of nursing miles away (Leners, Wilson, & Sitzman , 2007 ) .Several nursing and higher education organizations have developed standards, guidelines, and peer review processes for offering quality distance delivered courses and program The Alliance for Nursing's Accreditation Statement on Distance Education Policies (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2005), and the Sloan Consortium ( Moore, 2011). 

    Quality indicators include having standards comparable to those on the campus including faculty qualifications, ongoing assessment and evaluation, access to resources, student and faculty support services, and monitoring of student attainment of course and program outcomes. Schools of nursing seeking accreditation for distance education programs should meet the same standards as their on-campus programs and/ or demonstrate how the distance delivered program meets the accreditation standards. Quality matters is a peer review service offering reviews and recommendations for improving the design of an online course.

Outcomes of Distance Education In Nursing 

    Distance education is a proven method for providing access to academic programs and continuing education programs, and will continue to evolve as nursing education becomes more global and learning is internationalized. 

The following are the recommendations for future development: continue to develop hardware, software, and infrastructure that facilitates international distance education; establish consortia, partnerships, and collaborative relationships to maximize resources for offering programs; foster global awareness and respect for diversity by including a mix of students from different countries and backgrounds; develop new models of international course offerings such as cohort models with an onsite learning facilitator who participates in the course and supervises student's application of course concepts; and increase funding for developing courses with an international focus and promotion of global awareness, networking, and international collaboration.

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