The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2004 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A model for web based instruction in an Advanced practice Post-professsional bachelors of Science Respiratory Care program.

David López, Ed.D., RCP, RRT, Loma Linda University, School of Allied Health Professions, Department of Cardiopulmonary Sciences, Loma Linda California.

Introduction: As the practice of respiratory care has advanced so has the need for alternative methods of educating practicing respiratory care practitioners that takes into account busy working professionals with equally busy life styles. In response a hybrid model of web based instruction and face to face instruction emerged that addressed several program requirements, as well as meeting the needs of busy professional that could be served in a web based format.

Method
: A core set of course activities or experiences were identified based on program assessment, regional accreditation requirements, and student (past and present) input. Three general concepts emerged based on the above input as having core value in meeting the present and future needs of our students as follows: professional application, building community (among students faculty and the university), and critical thinking at the advanced practitioner post-professional level. These three concepts where then compared to existing courses to establish commonalities and areas of specialization requiring additional course work activities or experiences. Each course would have a minimum of the following activities: analytical writing, professional project, weekly two-three tiered discussion board assignment, and a course specific instructor designated experience. The face-to-face instruction time was based on the needs of the course requirements ranging from one to two days, of an eleven-week quarter, to two to four, three to four hours meeting times. The face-to-face times were used for discussion, evaluation of course requirements and project presentations. Courses meet in the middle and toward the end of the quarter to allow course work assignments to be completed. Once a course set of activities and experiences were identified, objectives were added to the existing course, as needed that required higher-level learning based on Blooms Taxonomy of learning. The next task was to provide the learning activities and experiences with professional level practice and exposure. This was accomplished with the assistance of the practitioners work environment, (or when one was not available as suitable experience was located) with the students respiratory care department managers who provided either existing projects, research, or other assignments that meet the needs of the course goals or experience. A web based educational platform, (Blackboard) was utilized to establish the working center for the online course. This platform provided a variety of information to be placed online for student access such as: course material, e-mail, discussion boards (course and student), video clips, resource links to other material or web sites, evaluation and assessment tools. To ease the transition of faculty and students into a nontraditional web based format an orientation of methods and process was required to ensure adequate communication. Assessment was conducted on the courses, web based platform, and overall student satisfaction with the process by quantitative student/program evaluation, as well as qualitative outcome assessment.

Results:
The assessment data demonstrated that the course objectives were meet. The results of the student’s assignments, projects, and learning demonstrated professional application, building community (among students faculty and the university), and critical thinking at the advanced practitioner post-professional level. Qualitative responses indicated a high satisfaction with not only the learning experience, but also the quality time spent with the faculty and peers in professional activities. Areas of improvement were mainly in the technology of a web-based platform that is applied at the user end having different and varied computers (old computer system through high speed broad band, high end computers). Faculty time was also a factor in that web based courses are time intensive requiring more time managing the web site, responding individually to projects, assignments, and discussion boards.

Conclusion
: A hybrid web based instructional model is effective in meeting program, regional accreditation guidelines, and student’s needs in an advanced practice post professional program. .