Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

REFLECTIONS ON THE Role of Faculty in Distance Learning and Changing PEDAGOGIES

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

REFLECTIONS ON THE Role of Faculty in Distance Learning and Changing PEDAGOGIES

Article excerpt

AS DISTANCE EDUCATION CONTINUES TO BE INCREASINGLY PREVALENT IN NURSING EDUCATION (1-4), THE ENERGING RESEARCH ON TEACHING AND LEARNING SUGGESTS THAT THIS RAPIDLY EVOLVING PHENOMENON IS CHANGING THE PARADIGN OF TEACHING AND TEACHER-STUDENT INTERACTIONS (5-10). Faculty face different ways of teaching, including organizing and presenting content, communicating with students, and evaluating courses (8,11). Significant questions are raised concerning the role and perceptions of faculty, such as, "Is teaching/learning different?" and, if so, "What are the changed elements?" and "How has the faculty role changed?" > The growing body of research on distance education substantiates the need to prepare the next generation of faculty for competencies related to teaching in a new paradigm (4) (see Literature Review, Sidebar I).Teaching web-based courses, for example, requires proficiency in technology use, content redesign to meet course outcomes, and the development of alternate communication modes (12), In a meta-analysis, Cyrs (13) identified four areas of faculty competencies needed for distance education: course planning and organization, verbal and nonverbal presentation skills, collaborative teamwork, and questioning strategies, > IN ADDITION TO TECHNOLOGY AND PEDAGOGICAL CHANGES, RESEARCH SUBSTANTIATES THAT THE EVOLVING DISTANCE LEARNING PHENOMENA HAS AN IMPACT ON THE ROLE OF FACULTY. As Diekelmann indicates, "Distance education may be the place to push the edges of what constitutes new pedagogies for the changing instructional landscape as nursing education enters into the new millennium" (14, p. 52.).

ABSTRACT The increasing number of nursing faculty teaching in distance education programs represents a paradigm shift that has implications for faculty role and changing pedagogies. This descriptive study investigated experiences of nursing faculty teaching web-based courses. Participants were drawn from eight nursing schools in the United States and Canada. Nineteen faculty discussed perceptions of teaching online in small-group teleconference interviews. Major categories identified were: faculty role issues, redesigning/rethinking courses, handling communications, developing partnerships, managing time, and dealing with technology. The core category was: redesigning pedagogies and rethinking faculty role for online teaching. Dimensional analysis was used to develop a matrix telling the story of the experience within the perspectives of antecedent conditions, context, strategies, and consequences. Results indicated that support systems, technology partnerships, and policies should be in place before redesign. The context of redesign was evident in moving from "on stage" to a virtual environment. Strategies used to redesign courses included collaboration, rethinking communications, and faculty development. Consequences had positive and negative outcomes with respect to their impact on faculty role, teaching approaches, and student/faculty relationships.

Key Words Distance Education - Online Teaching - Faculty Role in Distance Education - Technology and Education.

The Research Study The problem addressed in this study was that distance learning has become common practice in schools of nursing, leading to the need for faculty to discover how to adapt their teaching styles and instructional methods, and adapt to a new role to move into this new paradigm. The study builds on the work of Diekelmann, Schuster, and Nosek (15), which examined the common experiences of teachers using distance education technologies. This qualitative study, with 31 faculty and academic staff from a variety of disciplines at the University of Wisconsin who had participated in distance learning using technology, used nonstructured audiotaped interviews, either in person or by telephone, to explore how distance learning is changing the paradigm of teaching and faculty-student interactions. Resulting themes related to participants' common experiences in teaching at a distance: losing familiar landmarks and touchstones, challenging conventional pedagogies, awakening new roles, learning from experience, and creating new pedagogies. …

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