Engaging Your Students in the Online Classroom

Monday, 30 July 2012: 2:35 PM

Mary Jo C. Stanley, MS, RN, CNS
Katrina Einhellig, MS, RN
Carol J. Roehrs, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to apply two quality standards for instructional design in the development of an online course.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe three instructional delivery strategies that increase online student interaction.

Engaging Your Students in the Online Classroom

            Advances in technology have forever changed the landscape of online nursing education.  Learning is no longer restricted by the traditional classroom setting; students can choose to attend classes anytime, anywhere.  This pedagogical strategy necessitates that nurse educators develop the skills necessary to facilitate successful outcomes for online students.  For educators, the use of online technology itself does not imply effective outcomes for online learners; instructors must apply best practice strategies for delivering germane content as well as maximizing learner engagement.  Technology is only one facet of online instruction, and it is the interaction with faculty and other students that enhances the learning experience.  Organizations, such as Quality Matters, support the development of high quality instructional design for online courses.  Quality Matters focuses on the overall design of the course and its elements to facilitate student interaction.  Emphasis, therefore, is on communicating expectations for faculty responsiveness and availability as well as for student participation.  This presentation will discuss the myriad variables that provide excellence in online education, including development of online courses using established quality standards, and the delivery of content through an environment in which both teacher and student work together toward learning.  Online learning has the potential to foster an interactive environment in which students can learn through inquiry.  Methods to develop best practice strategies for content development and delivery will support nurse educators in providing quality online instruction.