Distance Nursing Education in Alaska: A Longitudinal Study

RESEARCH. ABSTRACT. This study explored the benefits, problems, and effectiveness of educational delivery methods utilized in an associate degree nursing program at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) over three years. The sample consisted of two groups of students in their final semester (traditional, on-campus students, n = 71; students from sites where course content was delivered through distance-delivery methods, n = 94). Student achievement data were compared to examine effectiveness. A researcher-developed survey was used to obtain demographic data and participant perceptions about various items rated on a Likert scale; the questionnaire also asked for narrative statements. The survey instrument was shown to demonstrate adequate reliability (Cronbach's alpha ≥ .68). No statistically significant differences were found between on-campus and distance-delivery participants' mean responses related to effectiveness. However, the distance participants evidenced statistically significant higher ratings for benefits and lower ratings for problems (p < .05), indicating that they perceived more benefits as well as more problems associated with delivery methods than did the on-campus group. Qualitative data corroborated and provided details to explain and clarify the quantitative findings. No significant differences were found between the distance and on-campus participants' scores for any of the eight student achievement assessments examined. Lived experiences led to significantly different perceptions of the benefits and problems associated with educational delivery methods. Key Words Nursing Education - Distance Education - Educational Effectiveness - Educational Delivery Methods - Benefits and Problems in Educational Delivery.

© National League for Nursing, Inc. Mar/Apr 2010. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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