The use of asynchronous online learning in family nurse practitioner programs: A descriptive study
Susan Day Haake Steiner, University of Wyoming, United States
University of Wyoming . Awarded
Use of distance education has become an important component in post secondary education in the United States. The impact of the Internet is changing the face of education and creating what is expected to be a pervasive trend. Asynchronous online learning is an Internet-based computer-mediated learning mode through which learners and instructors communicate asynchronously.
Nursing education has joined the online education movement. Challenges facing nursing schools include the need for educating advanced practice nurses, such as family nurse practitioners, and providing graduate coursework in rural areas. Concerns about competition among programs for students and the ability of asynchronous online learning to adequately prepare and socialize nurse practitioner students are some of the issues currently surrounding graduate nursing education.
This study described the current and planned future use of asynchronous online learning in family nurse practitioner programs. Included was the use and purpose of synchronous learning activities when combined with asynchronous online learning. An understanding of both the prevalence and use of asynchronous online learning may help programs guide their future use of technology and distance learning. The study was also intended to serve as a foundation for further research into the best practices of asynchronous online learning in family nurse practitioner education.
A mailed questionnaire was used to collect responses from family nurse practitioner program directors. The findings indicated that the state of asynchronous online learning is dynamic with significant growth expected. Currently 56 percent of the responding programs use some level of asynchronous online learning and future use is expected to be over 80 percent. Results indicated that face-to-face interaction is valued for professional role socialization, and that the introduction and expansion of online learning in family nurse practitioner programs is being approached in a cautious manner with respect for infrastructure issues and both faculty and student concerns. It is recommended that professional socialization be the framework for future research on the quality of learning and best practices of asynchronous online learning.
Steiner, S.D.H. The use of asynchronous online learning in family nurse practitioner programs: A descriptive study. Ph.D. thesis, University of Wyoming.
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