Traditional Learning Versus Distance Learning In Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

Differences Between Traditional and Internet Instruction In Nursing Education

Traditional Learning Versus Distance Learning In Nursing Education

What are Differences Between Traditional and Internet Instruction,Advantages of a Distance Education Program In Nursing Education,Themes of Distance Learning In Nursing Education,Expectations With Online Learning or Traditional Classes Connected To The Internet In Nursing Education.

What are Differences Between Traditional and Internet Instruction

    Distance education is defined as planned learning that occurs in a different place from teaching, requiring interactive technology in real time or delayed, and a supportive course design of distance education (Escoffery et al., 2003). The two basic models of distance education are synchronous and asynchronous modes of interactivity. In synchronous learning, the teacher and the student interact in real time, similar to traditional classroom settings, but this method decreases flexibility. 

    It requires all students to be online, in a video conference, or in a virtual classroom at the same time. Asynchronous learning occurs when individuals access the educational materials independently and at times and places of their choice. Asynchronous activities allow students to take as much time as they want to read the materials and compose responses or messages. 

    It also allows time for reflection and may result in thoughtful discussion. The use of asynchronous technology extends the reach of education to previously under served populations as well as to those who prefer a more self directed learning environment (Lewis, 2000). It is the most flexible and friendly way to use the Internet for formal degree programs and continuing education.

    Distance learning offers new opportunities for nurses who are seeking basic or advanced degrees, certificates, or lifelong learning for professional development (Billings et al., 2001). The advantages to using the Internet are many. First, convenience and easy access are the cornerstones. The course work may be self paced and asynchronous, and the student has easy access to online libraries, databases, and learning resources. 

    The ability to network with colleagues in specialty areas without any geographic limitations is unlimited. There are several disadvantages. First, the student needs a computer, modem, Internet service provider, and basic computer literacy skills (Novotny & Murley, 1999). Second, band width and connectivity to the Internet are issues that continue to exist in Internet-based education. 

    This is especially true for individuals who rely on modems to connect to the Internet versus students with broad bandwidth connections (ie, DSL, cable, satellite). Third, individual learners must recognize their personal learning style and determine if Internet based education is appropriate. The work in developing and implementing a quality distance education program occurs before students ever begin. 

    The spirit and potential of distance education can best be realized by programs that are specifically designed and implemented on the basis of the needs of the identified population of learners for whom the program is intended. 

Advantages of a Distance Education Program In Nursing Education

·        Individualized pacing with active student involvement
·        Instructional assistance during and outside of regular class times
·        Multiple media formats resulting in greater interactivity
·        On time assessment, feedback, and reinforcement
·        Individualized and collaborative learning
·        Optimal use of instructor's expertise
·        Information linked to student pace and performance

    Understanding the differences between traditional learning and Internet learning is essential before undertaking an online program of any kind because students and educators who embark on a distance education program must change their thinking about how they learn or teach. Regardless of the technology used, certain instructional functions must exist (Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 1999):

Instructor presentation of content using multimedia-rich technology with supporting printed material.
Student-teacher interaction such as discussion, assignments, or testing.
Student-student interaction in small groups, pairs, threaded discussions, or group projects.

Themes of Distance Learning In Nursing Education

    There are several themes that shape online education and the future direction of learning and teaching. These themes, developed by Kearsley (2000), are all interrelated and overlapping but are important for the potential student.

1. Collaboration

    The single biggest change that the Internet brings to education is the increased collaboration between students and teachers, which includes diverse individuals in all parts of the world. Many activities and projects involve information-sharing activities. Even when there is no specific intent to collaborate, it often happens anyway because it is so easy to interact online.

2. Connectivity

    These activities include discussion boards, chat rooms, e-mail, conferences, and group projects. Students and instructors can easily connect across time and geographic location. Another important aspect of connectivity in nursing education is that students can interact directly with experts in their field of study. This is especially important in advanced nursing practice where current protocols frequently reside on the Internet. Efficient connectivity and response times are crucial for effective learning. 

    There are three important limits to consider with respect to response times and connectivity: 

(a) a learner feels connected if he or she is able to retrieve information or access a page within one tenth of a second

(b) a learner's flow of thought will be interrupted if connection takes more than 1 second

(c) a learner will stay focused on a text based dialogue only if the interruptions between the discussion are less than 10 seconds (Nielsen, 2001).

3. Student Centered

    When experienced nurses return to school for further formal education, they respond well to a program that is based on adult learning principles. These principles, developed by Malcolm Knowles (1980), are based on the assumption that the student is a capable decision-maker and is an active participant rather than a passive recipient in the teaching-learning process. 

    Teachers must recognize the value of a less hierarchical learning environment and embrace the role of facilitator as their primary function. One of the most important contributions of this work is to increase awareness of the learner's rightful place at the center of the instructional process.

4. Unbounded

    The Internet offers online education that eliminates the walls of the classroom. It gives students access to information and people anywhere in the world. Online education removes boundaries by having to do with where and when students learn as well as who can be a learner. This is especially important for continuing education for professional nurses.

5. Virtual Community

    A sense of community is important, whether it is the community of learners defined by a particular school or continuing education program or a physical community such as a town or city. The Internet makes it possible to define virtual communities around common interests and work-related activities. A community is only possible if a sense of presence is created. Audio and sound are important in creating presence.

6. Exploration

    The Internet allows learners to integrate knowledge into their own behavior and belief system and to create new knowledge and insight that can only come when there is the adventure of discovery. Many online activities involve adventure or discovery learning. Problem-based learning is an example of this type of learning activity.

7. Shared Knowledge

    Nursing professionals and students can tap into a vast knowledge network and they can contribute as well. Information on the Internet is immediately available to anyone in the world at any time. Sharing knowledge is the core of education but prior to computer networks this was only accomplished in limited ways.

8. Multi Sensory Experience

    Learning theories tell us that learning is more effective when it involves multiple sensory channels such as visuals, color, movement, sound, voice, touch, and smell. For example, Edgar Dale's classic cone of experience theory suggests that individuals learn approximately 10% of reading material, 50% of observed demonstrations and material reading, and 80% of material that is interactive (Dale, 1969). 

    Multimedia technology is available on the Internet and can provide most kinds of learning experiences except for touch and smell. Although these experiences may not be perfect, they are often much better than traditional learning activities that are primarily based on lectures.

9. Authenticity

    Internet education is highly authentic in nature. Students can access current databases and experts. This gives the educational experience relevance to the learning needs of the student. The Internet provides direct access to major repositories of research information, a critical component of nursing.

    Since distance education methods penetrated nursing education in the 1990s, there has been ample research examining these topics. Over-whelming, distance educational experiences that promote community building and interactivity among the students and with the instructor are key elements to more positive student experiences with greater perceived learning opportunities (Hyde & Murray, 2005; Robley et al., 2004).

Expectations With Online Learning or Traditional Classes Connected To The Internet In Nursing Education

    Until now, the primary function of a teacher has been to transfer knowledge, with the student in a passive role. A majority of teaching and learning is passive and most students find this style of learning very safe and comfortable. Distance education students and teachers need to be prepared for a change in this approach. When the Internet becomes the primary vehicle for learners to receive information and skills, classes that primarily transfer information become obsolete. 

    Instead, the student becomes an active participant in the process. The role of the instructor is to make the information meaningful, create a positive learning environment, integrate knowledge into the learner's own belief system, and create new knowledge and insight that comes only when three or more learners are engaged in intense discussion and exploration.

    In some programs, clinical skills are evaluated by connecting students to instructors, using portable videoconferencing devices such as Web-cam technology with two-way videoconferencing. Firefighters, pilots, and even nurses are learning skills through simulated virtual reality videos and manikins. 

    Those teaching in online learning environments must be prepared to deliver instruction with various online learning modalities in order to meet the diverse learning styles of individuals, similar to the preparations that are adopted in the traditional classroom setting for students with various learning styles. 

    Teachers and students must also be prepared to create a “community” of learners by encouraging discussion, participation, and presence that may require the use of more advanced technology such as audio capability.

    Technology and the Internet specifically are changing the way individuals learn and gather data. Nursing students are using more Internet resources to support clinical decisions, access information, and plan care. Furthermore, teachers are using the Internet in traditional classroom settings to access information, demonstrate processes or mechanisms (ie, animated blood flow through the heart), and promote in class small group learning activities with wireless mobile technology. 

    Tablet PCs with handwriting recognition features and personal digital assistants are used in many progressive classroom settings. Students may access drug databases electronically during lectures or use medical calculators for more complex algorithms while learning fluid and electrolyte disturbances in the patient who is immuno-suppressed.

    In conclusion, the academic quality and legitimacy of well designed and well executed distance education programs have been proven (Lewis, 2000). Don't be afraid to reach out and teach or enroll in a distance education course. In fact, if you plan to teach an online course, become an online course learner first. You will be embracing an important skill that will prepare you for nursing practice in the twenty first century.

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!