Evaluating a Web-based graduate level nursing ethics course: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Heather McAlpine, Linda Lockerbie, Deyanne Ramsay, Sue Beaman
Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing 2002, 33 (1): 12-8

BACKGROUND: This article discusses the course design, experiential findings, and evaluation of a Web-based course for graduate nurses examining professional health care practice and ethical issues.

METHOD: Using course input and evaluative data, the article addresses student and teacher perceptions of use of a Web-based delivery mode for graduate level courses and the appropriateness of this ethics course for graduate level students.

RESULTS: Evaluative data supported existing knowledge concerning pros and cons of Web-based education. New insights concerning the Web's ability to foster critical thinking skills and supports for continuing ethics education for nurses are reported. All students assessed this ethics course as being of considerable value to their professional practice.

CONCLUSION: Students evaluated the pros of Web use for the course as far outweighing the cons. The students' substantial interest in and critical thinking about appropriate knowledge bases to underpin effective ethical decision-making strongly supports the need for continuing ethics education for practicing nurses.

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