JOURNAL ARTICLE

This new house: building knowledge through online learning

Lois R Robley, Beverly J Farnsworth, Janice B Flynn, Christina D Horne
Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2004, 20 (5): 333-43
15494967
The purpose of this study was to understand from baccalaureate-degree nursing students the experience of virtual learning in nursing and to understand how online education enhanced and detracted from learning. Three in-depth, focus-group interviews were conducted with a total of 27 baccalaureate nursing students. Hermeneutic phenomenology was employed to analyze the narrative data. Seven themes were identified from the data. The first theme was "making the framework": (1) providing flexibility; (2) enabling students through observing, guiding, and modeling; (3) faculty as facilitators; and (4) questioning as method. The second theme was "building incredible dialogue": (1) having great discussions, (2) sharing ideas/knowledge, and (3) not being inhibited. The third theme was "critical thinking--the 3-D effect": (1) sitting with the words, (2) using references/research, (3) seeing a variety of perspectives, (4) critiquing self and others, and (5) using selective language. The fourth theme was "personal and professional growth": (1) being connected, (2) feeling valued and respected, and (3) having intimate relationships. The fifth theme, representing the outcomes for online courses, was "more comprehensive learning": (1) deeper understanding and (2) better retention of knowledge. The sixth theme was "being overwhelmed", and the seventh theme was "being frustrated". As a result of this study, an understanding of the phenomenon of online learning was developed. The findings provide direction for future development of the pedagogy of distance learning.

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