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PSWS faculty present research on learning methods

5/14/2012 —

Tierney Lyons, reference librarian, Michael Evans, nursing instructor, recently presented their research titled, The Use of Asynchronous Discussion Boards to Increase Student Learning: An Interdisciplinary Approach at the Sigma Theta Tau International Beta Sigma Chapter Research Day at Mount Nittany Medical Center, in State College.  The study was conducted with the help of a Teaching Project Grant from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

The two also presented to their colleagues and peers at a faculty seminar held at Penn State Worthington Scranton.

The pair's research focused on whether the use of asynchronous discussion boards as an adjuntive teaching strategy to traditional classroom lecture in an undergraduate nursing research course leads to differences in student satisfaction and reflective thinking.

Their research was conducted at Worthington Scranton during the 2011 Fall semester in the Nursing 200w course, which was taught by Dr. Milton Evans.

Throughout the study, students were expected to respond to faculty posted discussion questions regarding nursing research, as well as responding to two of their peers' postings with a "thought extending" posting. Results of the study showed that this blended learning teaching modality increased reflective thinking and student satisfaction among the students.

While the study did not produce statistically significant results, due to the small sample size, it did prove that utilizing interdisciplinary teaching in a blended learning format through asynchronous discussion boards on ANGEL can be an effective teaching tool. It also showed the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration among librarians and course specific disciplines to enhance student outcomes. 

Mr. Evans and Ms. Lyons plan on repeating the study again this summer in the same course.

Anyone interested in learning more about the study can contact either Mr. Evans or Ms. Lyons via email; mme124@psu.edu for Mr. Evans; or Tierney@psu.edu for Ms. Lyons.

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