Preferred Methods of Learning for Nursing Students in an On-Line Degree Program

Debra Hampton, Patricia F. Pearce, Debra K. Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Investigators have demonstrated that on-line courses result in effective learning outcomes, but limited information has been published related to preferred teaching strategies. Delivery of on-line courses requires various teaching methods to facilitate interaction between students, content, and technology. The purposes of this study were to understand student teaching/learning preferences in on-line courses to include (a) differences in preferred teaching/learning methods for on-line nursing students across generations and (b) which teaching strategies students found to be most engaging and effective. Participants were recruited from 2 accredited, private school nursing programs (N = 944) that admit students from across the United States and deliver courses on-line. Participants provided implied consent, and 217 (23%) students completed the on-line survey. Thirty-two percent of the students were from the Baby Boomer generation (1946–1964), 48% from Generation X (1965–1980), and 20% from the Millennial Generation (born after 1980). The preferred teaching/learning methods for students were videos or narrated PowerPoint presentations, followed by synchronous Adobe Connect educations sessions, assigned journal article reading, and e-mail dialog with the instructor. The top 2 methods identified by participants as the most energizing/engaging and most effective for learning were videos or narrated PowerPoint presentations and case studies. The teaching/learning method least preferred by participants and that was the least energizing/engaging was group collaborative projects with other students; the method that was the least effective for learning was wikis. Baby Boomers and Generation X participants had a significantly greater preference for discussion board (P < .0167) than millennial students. Millennial students also had a greater preference for simulation than did Baby Boomer and Generation X students and rated on-line games as significantly more energizing/engaging and more effective for learning (P < .0167) than did Baby Boomer and Generation X students. In conclusion, the results of this study demonstrate that there are distinct student preferences and generational differences in preferred teaching/learning methods for on-line students. Faculty need to incorporate various teaching methodologies within on-line courses to include both synchronous and asynchronous activities and interactive and passive methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Learning preferences
  • On-line instruction
  • Teaching/Learning methodologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing

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