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Keywords

Distance education, doctoral education, asynchronous education, health policy, Internet

 

Authors

  1. Milstead, Jeri A. PhD, RN, CNAA
  2. Nelson, Ramona PhD, RN

Abstract

This article addresses the development of the initial course in the first completely online doctoral program in nursing. Synchronous and asynchronous methods of distance education were assessed. Planning focused at the university, school, and course levels. University planning involved the technical infrastructure, registration, student services, and library services. School planning examined administrative commitment and faculty commitment and willingness. Course planning focused on marketing, precourse information, time frame, modular design, planned interaction, and professor availability and support. Implementation issues centered on getting students connected, learning the software, changing instructional methods, and managing chats. Traditional methods of evaluating student learning and course evaluation were supplemented with the development of qualitative and quantitative tools to gather data for making administrative decisions. The Dean and faculty agreed that the Internet was an effective method of delivering content in the initial Health Policy course. The Dean and faculty agreed to continue the PhD program online for one cohort and continue to evaluate student progress and faculty and student satisfaction.