Evaluation of Students Learning In Online Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

Learning In Online Nursing Education and Evaluation of Students

Evaluation of Students Learning In Online Nursing Education

How Evaluate Student Learning,Evaluation Process and Purposes of Online Education In Nursing,Key Components of Evaluation In Online Nursing Education,Faculty Perceptions of Teaching Online In Nursing Education,Benefits of Teaching Online In Nursing Education,Motivating Factors In Nursing Education,Willingness of Nursing Faculty for Distant Education,Factor Inhibiting Educator From Online Teaching.

How Evaluate Student Learning

    The design of an online course should emphasize an active learning environment with real world applications and knowledge construction through collaboration and problem based learning. Assessment is an equally important part of the design of the course. Sound assessment strategy is not limited to a single measurement, but consists of multiple measurements that include various assessment tasks. 

    No single assessment can ensure whether all learning objectives have been achieved. A variety of assessment tasks are needed to provide a well rounded view of learner progress (Rovai, 2000).

    The shift in responsibility for learning from instructor to student in the online learning environment has resulted in a more competence based model of assessment of student learning. Palloff and Pratt (2003) suggested that we need to develop a means to evaluate outcomes that is specific to online learning. 

Evaluation Process and Purposes of Online Education In Nursing

    Evaluation that is congruent with course learning objectives and is consistent with the learning activities in the course will likely result in an accurate assessment of student mastery of course concepts. Inclusion of self assessment activities encourages students to reflect on the learning that has taken place. 

    Student assessment serves two purposes: to evaluate students' progress and to facilitate student learning. There must be a direct relationship between learning objectives and assessment measures. The following strategies can be used to develop this connection:

1. Obtain a good match between the type of objective you wish to measure (eg, knowledge, skills, and attitudes) and the means you use to measure it.

2. Use several data sources to gain as complete a picture as possible.

3. Remember that not all instructional objectives lend themselves to direct, precise measurement. (Lynch, 2002, p. 118)

Key Components of Evaluation In Online Nursing Education

    According to Robles and Braathen (2002), online assessment must be used to measure both learning objectives and students' application of knowledge. Assessment techniques should reflect the pedagogy of online courses. They identified three key components of assessment of student learning:  

(a) measurements of the learning objectives

(b) self assessments for students to measure their own achievement

(c) interaction and feedback between and among the instructor and students” (p. 40)

    Robles and Braathen further stated that effective assessment must be active and authentic in the online environment. Students should be able to see the fit between the content of the course and real world application. 

Faculty Perceptions of Teaching Online In Nursing Education

    Nursing faculty teaching Web based courses have a variety of perceptions of teaching online. Ryan et al. (2004) investigated the experiences of nursing faculty teaching web based courses. The faculty discussed perceptions of teaching online. Participants in this study agreed that an infrastructure is needed to ensure faculty success in teaching online. Administrative support is needed, as well as technical support. 

    Faculty development is essential, including collaboration with experts in computer technology. Faculty who teach online benefit through sharing experiences and ideas with other faculty. All of the participants in this study agreed that workload is heavier when teaching online courses. Policies should be developed to limit enrollments. It has been suggested that 20 to 30 students is a maximum number.

Benefits of Teaching Online In Nursing Education

    Faculty who teach online identify a number of benefits. One of the most important benefits is the time devoted to learning about online education, which results in a more student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Faculty who teach online also become comfortable with technology skills. 

    It has also been reported that faculty get to know their students better, because of increased interaction in the online environment. Finally, faculty report that data obtained from their online teaching experiences provides them with additional opportunities for scholarship, such as presenting at conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals (Oakley, 2004). 

Motivating Factors In Nursing Education

    The rapidly growing number of distance education programs has led researchers to explore faculty attitudes and motivating factors. There are differences in faculty attitudes by gender, faculty rank, and tenure status. Faculty who participate in distance education appear to be more highly motivated than non participators are by intrinsic values, such as intellectual challenge and overall job satisfaction. 

    Nonparticipating faculty apply to be more affected by personal needs (release time, credit toward promotion and tenure, and merit pay) and extrinsic motives (expectation by university, requirement by department, lack of technical background). Administrators identify factors associated with personal needs (reduced teaching load, release time, and monetary support for participation) higher than both groups of faculties. These findings indicate that there is a discrepancy between administrators' and faculty's perceptions on motivating factors for teaching online (Schifter, 2002).

Willingness of Nursing Faculty for Distant Education

    In a review of the literature, Clay (1999) identified these factors that facilitate the willingness of faculty to embrace distance education:

1. The opportunity to reach remote students

2. Intellectual challenge and the opportunity to develop new ideas

3. The opportunity to work with students who are more motivated

4. Release time

5. Financial rewards

6. Opportunities for research

7. Motivation to use technology

8. The opportunity for recognition

9. The opportunity to use support services

10. Reduced travel

11. Increased course quality

12. Increased flexibility resistors

Factor Inhibiting Educator From Online Teaching

    Many individuals in higher education view change as threatening. Faculty members may have preconceived attitudes about technology and distance learning, which can be a barrier to adoption of online learning. From her review of the literature, Clay (1999) identified these primary factors inhibiting faculty from distance teaching:

1. Increased workload.

2. The changed role of the instructor

3. Lack of technical and administrative support

4. Reduced course quality

5. Negative attitudes of colleagues

    Those who have learned successful teaching/learning strategies with- out the use of technology question its relevance and therefore are reluctant to take on the challenge of technology-assisted instruction. Many faculty do not find value in learning the technology needed to teach online, as it takes time away from other responsibilities, which they view as more important. 

    Institutions often lack faculty who have experience teaching online and could act as role models for less experienced faculty (Koehler et al., 2004).It has been suggested that the social distance between instructors and their students is another barrier for faculty who are reluctant to teach in the online environment. The instructor can reduce the distance between teacher and student by engaging in frequent communication. 

    E-mail is the most common form of one-on-one communication. However, students have identified that the online presence of the instructor matters most (Brooks, 2003). It is important for the instructor to be present in online discussions, while maintaining the role of facilitator and not over directing the discussion.

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