What is an Online Nursing Program Like?

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0:00 – I think it’s very important from an online perspective that you need to stay in touch with your students, so I send frequent announcements out to them, I email them frequently to keep in touch. It’s very easy for them to feel isolated in an online environment. I try to be very hands-on, you don’t want to lose that class participation, so if I do a discussion board assignment, I make sure I go in and I comment or I share some experiences that I’ve had for some of these particular topics. We’ll also have some live classes, so what I’ll do is, because it’s an online environment, many of these students are still working or have lives going on, so if they’re not able to attend the live class, I’ll record it and then I place the link in the course.

0:52 – I’m open to scheduling appointment times with them at any time, or if they just have something they’re not sure about, they’ll email me and I’ll give them feedback for it. I think it’s just making yourself available, because it’s very easy online to feel like you’re isolated.

1:06 – In supporting students online really takes a lot of dedication. I would say it’s getting to know them, I certainly make myself known to them, I think they need to know me as much as I need to know them. We really try to make the connection between students and one vehicle we use to do that is the discussion board. Students usually do a big sigh when they think about the discussion board, because it is hard, it takes a lot of commitment throughout the week. We want to see them interacting with the discussion board two or three times a week.

1:40 – But really what we’re doing is giving them a platform to discuss their ideas, form new ideas, and reflect on information and then share that with each other. I think that’s graduate education, it’s not rote memorization; it’s really reflection and creation.

1:57 – As an adjunct clinical faculty member, I try to be open. The students can email me anytime and I try to get back to them within a day or so. Any kind of concern, I think we have an open relationship, if they’re struggling with something they just let me know and we talk about it.

2:14 – In the beginning of our program, they encouraged us to all connect with each other, so for our class we have a Facebook page and it helps to interact with each other since we are distance learning. That seems to bring us together, and you feel as if “Ok, I’m not alone in this.”

2:30 – Online learning puts you at a distance to learning, but the orientation and the on-campus time really helps you to connect with your colleagues and I feel like those connections have been carried out through the rest of the program. You know, through social media connections, through email and phone calls, it’s nice to talk to other classmates and colleagues, people who know what you’re going through.