A Comparison of Web-Enhanced vs Traditional Classroom Teaching in Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Education

Deborah J. Stiffler, PhD, RN, CNM


Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2008;8(3) 

In This Article

The Growth of Online Learning

Online learning is growing in popularity among students and faculty alike. The popularity of online courses is confirmed by the fact that nearly 3.5 million students were enrolled in online college courses as of the fall semester of 2006-2007.[1] Students like the convenience taking a course without having to travel to campus. An online course provides flexibility because students can choose the time of day when they wish to participate, pace their participation, and save money by not having to travel to class as often.[2] However, not all experiences with online courses are positive. Delayed feedback from the faculty member, technical problems, and a sense of isolation are reasons why some students prefer the traditional face-to-face classroom.[2]

The purpose of this article is to evaluate the changes made to 1 of 2 health management courses within a women's health nurse practitioner (WHNP) program. One course was updated and transformed into a Web-enhanced course with several forms of active learning within a modular online format. The second course was a traditional lecture with PowerPoint slides, and was not changed for the comparison project. All students in the WHNP program take both courses in sequence with the new Web-enhanced course first. Two cohorts of students were surveyed after they completed both courses. Their experiences and feedback are described here.


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