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Nursing faculty members' use of Web 2.0 technology and perceptions of importance of online faculty presence

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Description: Since the creation of the Internet in 1991 (Casey, 2008), the use of online tools to deliver academic higher education has continued to grow exponentially (Allen & Seaman, 2010b). The existing base of literature is replete with studies of online education modalities, outcomes and faculty concerns. However, little of this research has focused on nurse educators or nursing education. As more nursing education programs move toward increasing their offerings of fully online and blended education options, it is essential to investigate faculty's understanding of their roles in facilitating online education, as well as their use of emerging tools to deliver this education. Further, as the Internet has evolved, so have the tools through which education can be delivered. Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis, social networking and social bookmarking, are the latest tools in the ongoing trend to create a more interactive online education experience. Through the use of Web 2.0 tools, faculty can engage students in developing and creating online materials, while collaborating and connecting with both faculty and student peers. Using the Community of Inquiry model, which posits there are three types of presence essential to creating an effective online educational experience (teaching, cognitive and social), as a framework, this study sought to investigate how nursing faculty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania perceived their role in creating and maintaining an online presence. Faculty were surveyed to determine their current level of knowledge and use of Web 2.0 tools as educational resources; in addition, using a modified Community of Inquiry survey instrument, faculty who had engaged in online or blended education were asked to report how important they perceived their role to be in creating online presence. Statistical analysis of the data was conducted to determine if various demographic factors, including age, years of academic teaching experience, academic rank, institution type, and engagement in professional development related to online learning are significant predictors of faculty use of Web 2.0 tools or predictive of how important they perceive their role in online presence to be. Analysis of the data demonstrated faculty were most likely to integrate blogs, with social networking and faculty-developed wikis as the second most commonly integrated tools. Integration of blogs and wikis both demonstrated a significant relationship with faculty perception of the importance of their role in facilitating teaching presence, while the use of social networking was related to perceived importance of the role of facilitating social presence. Few faculty integrated social bookmarking, but among those who did use it, a relationship between its use and faculty perception of the importance of facilitating teaching presence was noted. Faculty perceived importance of their role in facilitating cognitive presence was associated only with the use of wikis. Finally, faculty clearly demonstrated that they viewed their role in teaching presence as the most important.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work