Iscussion: Online Healthcare and Nursing Courses

Discussion: Online Healthcare and Nursing Courses

This week you are asked to conduct an Internet search for free online courses in any kind of formata from multiweek courses to one-time tutorialsa on nursing or other healthcare topics. Locate at least two such courses that are addressed to audiences whom you are interested in teaching. For instance, if you wish to focus on patient education, locate two online modules, on any healthcare topic, that are meant for patients or general populations. If you want to specialize in continuing education for nurses or staff development, find online courses that are addressed to this audience. (These may be courses provided by your institution, but they must be accessible to visitors. If necessary, provide access information in your posting so that your faculty and colleagues in NURS 6320 can visit these courses.)

Review these courses and complete at least some of their activities so that you can get a sense of their course design from the learners perspective. Then, in this weeks Discussion forum, critique each course using criteria for good online course design you have learned about in NURS 6320 and share your suggestions on how to enhance those learning environments.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post the URLs of the free courses you reviewed and your critique of them. Your post should include the following for each of the two courses:

Summarize briefly the courses topic and intended audience.

How easy or difficult is it to navigate within this course? Is it User friendly”?

Are the media elements and activities appropriate for the content and audience? For instance, if the course includes audio or video files, is this an effective medium for the subject matter? Is the intended audience likely to have the skills and technology (e.g., software, fast enough Internet access, etc.) needed to complete the lessons?

Which learning theory does the course seem to illustrate? Behaviorist? Constructivist? Guided constructivist”? Another? Explain why.

Suggest at least one way you could enhance the learning experience of this course and provide your rationale.
Learning Resources

Prior Knowledge

Recall the instances in your online learning experience that were particularly effective in making you feel a part of a learning community. What led to those positive experiences? How could you, as an instructor, achieve the same success in an online setting with learners who are nursing students, nurses in continuing education, or patients?

Required Resources


Course Text: Teaching in Nursing: A Guide for Faculty

Chapter 23 Teaching and Learning in Online Learning Communities”

In addition to describing how educators develop online courses, this chapter summarizes principles of online course design and suggests ways to facilitate effective online discussion forums.

Course Text: Developing Online Learning Environments in Nursing Education

Chapter 8 Course Management Methods”

What are the differences and similarities in managing an online course vs. a traditional course? This chapter identifies several factors that contribute to effective online course management, such as providing explicit information on course procedures at the beginning of the course, and timely feedback to students. A table at the end provides a sample of an online syllabus.

Chapter 7 Interacting and Communicating Online”

Communication in online learning must be structured to make the most of the online environment. This chapter discusses ways of facilitating effective student-to-student and group interactions, promoting active learning, and building a sense of community.

Article: Diekelmann, N., & Mendia, E. P. (2005). Being a supportive presence in online courses: Attending to students online presence with one another. Journal of Nursing Education, 44(9), 393a 395. (ProQuest Nursing Journals database)
Article: Smith, T. (2005). Fifty-one competencies for online instruction. The Journal of Educators Online,2(2). Retrieved January 5, 2006, from /jsp?pj4&pageHOME
MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching