Technology is changing the nature of nursing education and will continue to do so by way of distance learning. Distance learning is made possible through learning management systems [LMS] software such as WebCT, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, and Moodle. These software systems include informational tools such as syllabi and rosters as well as social tools such as discussion forums, emails, and tests which creates a collaborative online community where teaching and learning can happen.
The virtual classroom replicates familiar elements of the face-to-face teaching environment in that virtual classrooms offer instructors the opportunity to address the class as a group, respond to questions, and provide feedback to students in groups or individually. One difference between the traditional classroom and the virtual classroom is that the online classroom is more learner-centered as compared to the traditional classroom, which is more content centered as viewed from the objectivist perspective. Probably one of the biggest differences between learning in the virtual classroom as opposed to the traditional face-to-face classroom setting is being able to go back and review all work done as the majority of work done are written assignments.
Completing my PhD. via an online platform has been a transformational experience, providing the opportunity to develop a holistic view of the nursing profession and nursing education. The journey was filled with laughter as well as difficulties, and there were times when I wanted to give up. I would highly recommend an online education to others who find themselves at their crossroad on life’s path as a way to advance academically and professionally. If you should ask yourself, do I know where I am going Do I like the things what life is showing me? Where am I going Remember, it is not where you came from, it is where you’re going that counts. Learn to ride the wind to where you want to go, rather than let the wind take you somewhere you don’t want to be.