Implementation of Current Technology in Online Learning

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Glenda Susan K. Jones, MSN
Department of Nurisng, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke, VA, USA
Milena P. Staykova, EdD, APRN, FNP-BC
Department of Nursing, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke, VA, USA
David Halpin, PhD
Technology Department, Jefferson College of Health Science, Roanoke, VA, USA

The Impact of Current Technology in Online Learning

Digital technologies have a significant impact on the nursing education. To meet the challenges of the U.S. health care system for excellent patient outcomes, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended higher educational attainment for the nursing workforce. In 2010, the IOM released its landmark report on The Future of Nursing, which called for 80% increase of the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses (BSN) in the workforce by 2020. The online nursing education has grown rapidly to aim the RN to BSN transition. In 2011, an online survey was administered to students from a private health science college to evaluate the current RN-BSN Program. Pre-survey results indicated lower scores for the use of technology, access to faculty, and student interactions. A three phase quality improvement project was initiated to address the identified needs. In 2012, the RN-BSN faculty and members of the Instructional Technology department collaborated to identify best practices in online education and to address areas for improvement in the use of technology. During phase 2, a web-based virtual synchronous conferencing also known as collaboration was implemented in the online courses. The virtual collaboration was utilized for class orientation, office hours, student presentations, lectures, skill demonstrations, guest speakers, and polling and assessments of knowledge. In 2014, a digital clinical experiences virtual program that utilizes avatars was implemented in the physical assessment course to provide students interactive activities.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to assess the effectiveness of emerging technologies in online teaching.

Methods: Multi-phase Quality Improvement Project. Phase1: Pre-survey. A convenience sample of 75 Post-licensure BSN students received the Distance Education Learning Environments Survey (DELES) with also included evaluation of concepts such as qualitative learning attitudes and web technology. Six sub- scales were measured by the DELES Survey: instructor support, student interaction and collaboration, personal relevance, authentic learning, active learning, and student autonomy (Sahin, 2007, Walker & Fraser, 2005). SPSS 20.0 was utilized for data entry and statistics. Phase 2: Faculty evaluation of available online educational tools, purchase of the virtual program, training of faculty, and implementation of the virtual program in the online RN-BSN courses. Phase 3: A post survey to evaluate the student satisfaction with our online nursing program post implementation of the Blackboard Ultra Collaborate and Shadow Health Virtual Programs.

Results: The 2015 post course evaluations (phase three) reflected 100% satisfaction with access to faculty, student interaction, and use of technology. 60% of the students reported enthusiasm with online learning and concluded that the online learning was stimulating. 80% of the students concluded that the virtual collaboration improved collaboration between students and faculty, and their engagement and participation in the online courses. 80% of the students reported that they liked online examination with computer camera monitoring.

Conclusion: Student engagement is essential for achieving academic outcomes and increased satisfaction with online education. The use of technology has a key role in the success of the students in the contemporary online education.