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Faculty publish results from year-long study on blended learning

Michael Evans and Tierney Lyons
ACAO Mike Evans and Reference Librarian Tierney Lyons recently published their findings of a year-long study on blended learning that focused on the use of discussion boards in teaching undergraduate research.
8/23/2013 —

PSWS Reference Librarian Tierney Lyons and Assistant Chief Academic Officer and Nursing Instructor Michael Evans, MSN, MSEd, RN, ACNS, CMSRN, CNE, reported findings from a year-long, blended learning research study in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Internet Reference Services Quarterly www.tandfonline.com/eprint/I44u67bRmCTwtnBXfhdv/full#.UgrvT6zfHZE


The pair embedded online discussions into an introductory research nursing course in order to address the challenges of teaching undergraduate research skills and explored if incorporating discussion board activities enhanced the learning experience.

The results suggest that the web-based dialog with the nursing instructor and librarian increased student satisfaction with the course work. “An unexpected benefit,” Lyons and Evans noted, “was how much the students learned from each other and wanted more frequent posting by their peers.”

Survey results indicated that, through this venue, students received motivation, focus, insight, and understanding from their peers.

The pair concluded that the students were satisfied with the course content, learned from their peers, and appreciated individual feedback.

The study demonstrated the value of discussion boards in an introductory nursing research course and suggested avenues for future research, include comparing voluntary and compulsory participation and controling for co-variables in access methodology, such as tablet computers or other mobile devices.

In May, the co-authors presented these findings at the sixth International Clinical Librarian Conference and the 11th International Congress of Medical Librarianship in Boston, MA.

Internet Reference Services Quarterly is a refereed journal that publishes research and practical information about digital reference librarianship, focusing on technology and innovations in library services delivery. 

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