Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice and Assessment

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice and Assessment

Article excerpt

Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice and Assessment by Tisha Bender, PhD; Sterling, VA: Stylus Press, 2003; 206 pages, $24.95

The title of this book provides an overview of the contents in a nutshell. Using a discussion format, the author emphasizes how discussion techniques can help enhance student learning. The author has had a great deal of experience teaching online and shares this experience with the reader.

The book's three units focus on theory, practical approaches to teaching online, and assessing the effectiveness of distance education. In the first unit, concepts from selected theories are used to illustrate how learning theories can help in understanding the learning process in distance education. For example, a discussion on the impact of asynchronicity on memory leads to this assertion: "The steady flow of information through online discussion...assists learners in terms of holding their attention and helping them to retain this information" (p. 29).

The second unit, Practical Applications, includes numerous clear, concrete examples of how learning can be supported and encouraged. These techniques are especially useful in a course where learning occurs through discussion, discovery, problem solving, and the creation of new insights. For example, the ideas and suggestions offered could be invaluable when teaching a course such as ethics, where students explore how ethical principles may apply in specific situations. …

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