Comparison of Web-based instructional design strategies in a pain management program for nursing professional development
Smith, Charlene M.
MetadataShow full item record
Evaluation of Web-based learning (WBL) outcomes in nursing professional development is limited, especially studies comparing WBL instructional designs. The use of WBL to deliver effective education has implications for increasing access nurses have to quality continuing education programs. Compared were two instructional designs in a Web-based continuing education program on pain management for registered nurses. It was hypothesized that nurses who complete WBL using a text-based reading (TBR) instructional design have different learning (knowledge, attitude, intent to apply learning in practice), satisfaction, and time to complete scores than nurses using a constructivist learning design (CLD). A true experimental, two-group, posttest only study applied Billings' (2000) framework for assessing outcomes of WBL as the conceptual model. Volunteer nurses from four hospitals in Rochester, NY were randomly assigned to one of two WBL programs independently completed online in approximately two hours. Pain management content was developed from current evidence-based resources for both interventions. Instructional designs included: (1) TBR (didactic linear design) and (2) CLD (strategies involving problem solving, inquiry, and reflective thinking). A Comparison of Web-Based researcher developed online posttest/survey collected learner characteristics and outcome data from participants after completing the WBL program. Phase one (n = 12) was a feasibility test to assess the study procedures, technology, content, and instruments for internal consistency. Changes were made to the instruments and program and phase two started in May, 2006 with a sample of 106 nurses. The Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric statistical test compared posttest/survey differences between the ranked scores of the groups for each outcome measure. There were no significant differences between groups for learning (knowledge, attitude, intent to apply learning in practice) and satisfaction outcome measures. There was a significant difference in the time to complete the WBL programs with a higher mean time to complete for the CLD group. Given the additional instructor time and resources needed to develop the CLD program; extra time it took nurses to complete the CLD; and no significant differences in learning or satisfaction between groups; future design of Web-based nursing continuing education programs must consider pedagogy in addition to resources needed for development, and participant time.