The Quality of Student Learning in an Online International Graduate Nursing Program

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:35 AM

Gail Tumulty, RN, PhD, CNAA
Mary D. Oriol, DrPH, RN
School of Nursing, Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Learning Objective 1: Appraise the relationships among class size, student and faculty engagement, learning outcomes, and satisfaction in online graduate nursing classes.

Learning Objective 2: Assist faculty worldwide in implementing the most effective strategies to improve the outcomes of online learning.

Purpose: To add to the scientific evidence about establishing optimal online class size where active class engagement and course satisfaction are attained for faculty and students alike

Methods: Data were collected from 2007 through 2010 using end of course student evaluations and Blackboard participation statistics.  Simple linear regression, independent samples t-Test, and ANOVAS were used to test research questions. 

Results: As class size increases, student participation in discussion forums increases but faculty participation decreases.  Student satisfaction increases as class size decreases.  Students perceive higher satisfaction and greater critical thinking skills when taught by full-time faculty. 

Conclusion: Class size impacts faculty time, engagement in the course, and punctuality with returning assignments as well as student satisfaction with the instructor.  Students perceive higher course value and greater critical thinking skills when courses are taught by full-time faculty instead of adjunct faculty.