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Cognitive engagement, Internet-based learning, Learning outcomes, Online community, Online learning





Internet-based learning environments are a popular instructional delivery method that provides flexibility, easy access, convenience, and self-directed learning. There is concern that Internet-based learning creates a loss of community and lacks the power to fully engage the student, leading to negative learning outcomes. This descriptive, correlational study evaluated the relationship among a perceived sense of community, cognitive engagement, and learner outcomes among undergraduate nursing students enrolled in an Internet-based learning course. A convenience sample of 96 undergraduate nursing students enrolled in an online health informatics course participated in this study. Findings indicated a moderate sense of community and a positive relationship between student engagement and learning outcomes. A variety of group activities such as wikis, blogs, and discussion board were helpful in promoting a sense of community, but students emphasized a desire for more faculty feedback and interaction. Nursing is a collaborative profession where community building is a critical skill; therefore, innovative teaching/learning techniques that promote a sense of belonging and community are needed to improve learning outcomes, prepare students to provide quality patient care, and interact with an interprofessional team.