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J Nurs Educ. 2003 Aug;42(8):350-8.

The effect of communication on nursing student outcomes in a Web-based course.

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  • 1Department of Healthcare Systems and Informatics, Georgia College and State University, School of Health Sciences, Campus Box 64, Milledgeville, GA 31061, USA.


This study compared the effectiveness of different instructional communication methods in a Web-based course on students' cognitive learning, satisfaction, and motivation to complete the course. A total of 174 undergraduate nursing students were selected randomly and assigned to experimental or control groups. Instruments included a demographic data form, two examinations on course material, a course satisfaction scale, and calculation of completion rates. All students received identical didactic Web-based instructional materials. However, type of communication varied among groups. No significant group differences were found for cognitive learning or motivation to complete the course. A significant group difference was found for student satisfaction with the course, indicating carefully planned communication strategies can improve satisfaction. A need for technical support also was evident. More research is needed to determine the best strategies to enhance student learning outcomes and decrease student attrition in Web-based courses.

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