Students' experiences of blended learning across a range of postgraduate programmes

Smyth, Siobhan, Houghton, Catherine, Cooney, Adeline and Casey, Dympna (2012) Students' experiences of blended learning across a range of postgraduate programmes. Nurse Education Today, 32 (4). pp. 464-468. ISSN 0260-6917


Summary The article describes the students' experiences of taking a blended learning postgraduate programme in a school of nursing and midwifery. The indications to date are that blended learning as a pedagogical tool has the potential to contribute and improve nursing and midwifery practice and enhance student learning. Little is reported about the students' experiences to date. Focus groups were conducted with students in the first year of introducing blended learning. The two main themes that were identified from the data were (1) the benefits of blended learning and (2) the challenges to blended learning. The blended learning experience was received positively by the students. A significant finding that was not reported in previous research was that the online component meant little time away from study for the students suggesting that it was more invasive on their everyday life. It is envisaged that the outcomes of the study will assist educators who are considering delivering programmes through blended learning. It should provide guidance for further developments and improvements in using Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and blended learning in nurse education.

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