24/7 access to web-videos and power point lectures

Chuang, Y., Cheng, H., Yang, Y., Fang, M., & Chen Y.  (2010).  The Effects of a Web-Based

Supplementary Program for Facilitating Nursing Students’ Basic Nursing Skills.  CIN:

Computers, Information, Nursing, 28(5), 305-310.

            In their article, the authors emphasized the importance of watching demonstrated skills in enhancing the learning process.  In the typical format to teach nursing skills, a combination of lecture and lab are used, which involves demonstration of skills with immediate feedback.  The authors felt that current studies comparing traditional and web-based learning does not provide consistent results and often rely on written exams, as opposed to skill performance, to test the acquisition of knowledge.  The authors also felt that research was lacking in the area of e-learning as a supplement as opposed to a complete replacement for traditional learning.  A quasi-experimental design with two groups and a post-test was used to assess the knowledge acquisition of students in a traditional learning environment versus a traditional learning environment with a web-based supplement.  Students in the experimental group had 24/7 access to a web program demonstrating nine basic nursing skills, while the control group had no access to this program.  Four weeks after completion of the course work, all students were assessed by four examiners on their performance of aseptic technique.  The intervention was determined to have a medium effect with the experimental group scoring 81.47 on the assessment versus a score of 76.58 by the control group.  The authors found no relationship between frequency of log in to the program and scores on the post-test.  The experimental group showed above average satisfaction with the program.    The authors recommend using web-based programs to enhance nursing students’ acquisition of basic nursing skills as it allows students to acquire and reinforce nursing skills at their own pace and schedule.

            The article provides an interesting view in that most articles on this topic investigate traditional versus web-based, as opposed to a web-enhanced format.  The sample size was of a larger size (161 participants) than many studies related to this topic, which aids in the generalizability of the findings.  As the authors noted, a randomized controlled trial design would be beneficial in increasing the generalizability of future studies.  I would have liked to see fewer clinicians performing the skills assessment, as this can hinder the reliability of the results. 

I could see using videos and web-based power point persentations that students can view at home and use for studying as very useful.  Does anyone currently do this?  Do you think students would still take notes and be attentive in class if they know they can access the information later outside of class?


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