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ABSTRACT: Asynchronous discussion: a comparison of larger and smaller discussion group size.

Abstract
AIM:
To explore the effect of size and strategy on asynchronous discussions (AD) in a small baccalaureate nursing program.
BACKGROUND:
As the prevalence of e-learning increases in nursing education, the use of AD as a learning strategy will increase. Because the AD can be engaging, group size should be considered to enhance learning.
METHOD:
Descriptive, correlational, and quasi-experimental methodologies were used to gather and analyze data from 23 junior baccalaureate nursing students. Variables included differences in group size (12 versus 23) and strategy (Virtual Clinical Excursions versus faculty-developed questions).
RESULTS:
There was no statistically significant difference in student outcomes for group size or strategy. The data suggested that smaller group size would help students “dig deeper” into the content being explored.
CONCLUSIONS:
Student perception responses indicate that Virtual Clinical Excursions was more likely to prepare them for nursing and clinical practice. Future research should include larger sample sizes and more variety in the sample demographics.

via Asynchronous discussion: a compar… [Nurs Educ Perspect. 2012 Nov-Dec] – PubMed – NCBI.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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