Expanding the Doctoral Classroom Beyond Bricks, Boundaries and Borders: Using the Internet for Webinar Global Collaboration

Thursday, 2 August 2012: 9:10 AM

Veronica D. Feeg, PhD, RN, FAAN
Division of Nursing, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY
Linda Shields, MD, (Higher, Doctorate), PhD, MMedSCi, BAppSci, (Nursing), FRCNA
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Hicran Çavuşoğlu, RN, PhD
Faculty of Health Science Nursing Department, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Judith Hunter, MA, BSc (Hons), RN
Directorate of Nursing and Quality, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland, United Kingdom
Donna M. Nickitas, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNE
Nursing, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY

Learning Objective 1: Descibe the implementation of a web based collaborative for doctoral education that successfully connects students synchronously with researchers and experts globally.

Learning Objective 2: Apply a webinar methodology that can connect doctoral students with researchers and experts in their particular areas to engage in collaborative research experiences.

Information technologies have revolutionized all aspects of the educational enterprise, including web based courses using asynchronous and synchronous learning strategies to engage participants outside of the traditional classroom. The literature demonstrates a variety of Internet technologies that can successfully connect faculty and students across campus or across oceans without the constraints of time and/or distance. The goal of this project was to use an inexpensive communication platform for voice and content via Internet “webinar” software to allow faculty to connect researchers from a distance with doctoral students.

Preparing for launching a new PhD program at a small private college forced the faculty and administration to consider the depth and breadth of expertise available, particularly in an era of faculty shortages. With a cadre of available research-active faculty and the potential connection to other nurse researchers and scholars, the Director of the PhD program has integrated the use of a web based technology to expand the classroom in real time and across city, state and national borders.

This “virtual classroom” is a part of ongoing collaborations between several nursing leaders from England, Australia, Turkey, and within the United States. In these coordinated class sessions, the doctoral students are exposed to a wide array of nursing experts speaking about their research or projects and subsequently have developed working relationships in their research residency courses.

Since its inception, over 5 “virtual” presentations have occurred from the classroom globally and from global sites to the classroom. To date, 20 students have taken part in the synchronous activities with 4 outside “virtual” faculty and 3 international/distance collaborative research activities have been developed. Written evaluation data for courses and global activities have been positive. These global and distance webinar sessions can supplement traditional curriculum and scholarly activities in doctoral education.