Teaching Undergraduate Research in an Online Environment

Monday, 9 November 2015: 2:05 PM

Nancy C. Falvo, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
Department of Nursing; RN BSN program, Clarion University of PA, Oil City, PA, USA
Laurie Bladen, PhD, MBA/HCM, RN
Department of Nursing, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Coldwater, OH, USA

The purpose of this presentation is to describe the transformation of research knowledge into practice by addressing the challenges and opportunities of teaching research methods to online RN to BSN students. Historically, the course was taught following the steps for the research process, research critique exercises, and the development of a hypothetical study. As the curriculum moved to an evidence-based practice model, the course was been redesigned to focus on students developing pilot study proposals in small groups, appraising study proposals created by peers, and submitting the final study proposals to the university’s institutional review board. Completion of the study is then carried out in the senior capstone course during the following semester.

Guided by faculty with both qualitative and quantitative research experience, students work in small groups to build a research study evolving from the strategic plan priorities of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). Student perceptions of research and online group work prior to the course are at times very negative. Transforming research knowledge also includes changing these initial perceptions. Research design also requires the development of partnerships with other university departments and committees to assist students in understanding the meaning, importance, and process of scientific inquiry. Participants in this presentation will learn about the various teaching methods used in the online environment to assist students in moving from a research question through proposal development. Participants will also recognize creative solutions to common problems associated with online learning, large class size, co-teaching courses, and course content.