Undergraduate Nurses’ and Midwives’ Participation and Satisfaction with Live Interactive Webcasts
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INTRODUCTION: E-Learning methods such as webcasting are being used increasingly in healthcare education, including that of nurses and midwives. Webcasting means live synchronous broadcasting over the internet, where students participate simultaneously in text 'chat room' interactive discussions when logged on to a webpage where they can see and hear a presentation such as a PowerPoint lecture, a list of other participants, and access 'chat rooms'. AIMS: This paper reports student participation and satisfaction with the use of webcasting in a third year undergraduate nursing and midwifery research methods module in one higher education institution faculty of health and social work in the southwest of England, with students from distributed geographical locations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Students chose either webcasts or face-to-face lectures. Following each of the four webcasts, a web-based evaluation questionnaire was administered in a cross-sectional survey design. RESULTS: Two thirds of students took part in webcasts and found them to be an acceptable teaching and learning strategy. Travel and cost savings were noted through not travelling to the main university campus, and these were statistically significantly correlated with students' perception of gaining from the module and their overall satisfaction with webcasting. Across the four webcasts 5446 purposeful messages were posted indicating engagement with the material under study. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Webcasting is an effective teaching and learning strategy which is popular with students, allows remote access to teaching and learning, and offers time and cost savings to students. Further research is required to investigate the educational potential of this new technology.
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