Learning Objective 1: 1) To identify those learning environments or classroom communities which are most conducive for student learning in a graduate nursing research course.
Learning Objective 2: 2)To describe faculty and classroom behaviors most likely to advance student learning.
This study sought to examine student perceptions of the classroom community in an online graduate nursing research course at two Universities.
Based on the explosion of courses in distance learning in Nursing and the lack of faculty training in many Universities for these courses, a need was found to: 1) identify those learning environments or classroom communities which are most conducive for student learning in a graduate nursing research course and, to: 2) describe faculty and classroom behaviors most likely to advance student learning.
The sample for this study consisted of a convenience sample of 150 students within three cohorts of classrooms at each University. Each cohort was taught by faculty at each University. Students were asked to participate once the quarter ended so they would not fear their grades would have been impacted by the completion of the data collection tools. Descriptive data along with outcome data of grades, student satisfaction, faculty satisfaction, and critical appraisals were collected by the Universities for all students. Data were also collected using the Community Classroom Scale developed by Rovai (2002), which is a 20-tem Likert scale asking items of interaction between instructor and leaner, connectedness felt in the classroom and feelings of learning. Rovai (2002) has also identified a conceptual framework which the community classroom scale is based.
Using descriptive statistics, data were analyzed using the scoring method as suggested by Rovai (2002).
Preliminary results of student perceptions of the classroom community suggest the significant effect the interaction of the learner and faculty has on the learning environment.
Perhaps more studies are needed to examine differences in course structure, and differences in the online culture of each University. These influences will impact faculty training in many online Nursing programs.