Evaluation of distance education in nursing: survey on the satisfaction and effectiveness perceived by students and teachers
- nursing, e-learning, distance education, satisfaction, effectiveness
INTRODUCTION In February 2020, the COVID-19 emergency imposed distance education (DE) on the University. Though the transmission of the teaching contents was guaranteed, there was no real redesign of objectives, methods and learning tools in the Nursing Course.
METHODS The qualitative descriptive study was administered to 121 students and 22 teachers as a multiple choice questionnaire concerning skills and previous experiences, strengths and criticalities of the DE, student/teacher relationships, organization of courses and teaching methodologies, teaching materials, communications, class group, perceived effectiveness, and future applicability.
RESULTS Accessibility, flexibility and autonomy of the students emerge as positive aspects. The absence of timely scheduling, difficulty in organizing study tasks, concentration problems for students, while for teachears uncertainty regarding workloads and the effectiveness of the DE, as well as the lack of classroom interaction are the main problems found out. Teaching activities are generally perceived as satisfactory; teaching materials delivered prove to be crucial for learning; the study load is burdensome; video lessons and case-study discussions in streaming are the most popular teaching methodologies. The teacher/student interaction plays a key role; periodic meetings, intermediate assessments and feedback are particularly useful. Despite an overall positive assessment, the DE is considered, especially for a nursing degree program, less effective than the traditional training, both by students and, to a lesser extent, by teachers.
DISCUSSION The results of the study have made possible to improve the design of the course for the subsequent a.y. 2020-21, especially by providing a timely calendar and favoring continuous interaction between students, teachers and the staff of the headquarters.