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Quantitative Research, Article Review Example

Pages: 3

Words: 848

Article Review

Avery and Andersen (2008) conducted a descriptive comparative study to determine the differences in student outcomes between web-based courses and face-to-face instruction. In an effort to demonstrate that one of the two teaching methods elicited improved student outcomes, the authors examined data from 11web-based and five face-to-face graduate level nursing courses (p. 1).

According to the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), faculty effort centers primarily on the time a faculty member spends teaching (Middaugh, 2002). As such, the credit hours are typically utilized to measure the amount of person-to-person interaction that occurs between an instructor and a student; usually about 50 minutes each week. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) conducted an independent study to measure the effectiveness of web-based learning on nursing education (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 1999). Avery and Andersen (2008) proceed to identify a series of other studies that were designed to examine the differences in student outcomes between web-based courses and traditional instruction methods. Despite presenting a number of studies that indicate a larger faculty workload for web-based instruction, compared to face-to-face instruction, the authors cited inconclusive evidence to support the fact that web-based instruction requires more work from faculty. Additionally, since the Avery & Andersen (2008) study focuses primarily on faculty workload comparisons, and secondly on student outcomes, they presented only a handful of studies that indicate improved student outcomes for web-based courses, and a small number more to indicate neither an increase in faculty workload, or a decrease in faculty workload when comparing web-based and face-to0face courses (p. 4). In other words, Avery & Andersen (2008) presented evidence that web-based learning resulted in improved student outcomes; however, a significant part of their literature review focused on faculty workload comparisons between web-based learning and face-to-face instruction and rendered an inconclusive result.

Theoretical Framework

Avery & Andersen (2008) theorizes that if the impact of web-based instruction on faculty workload can be determined, then student outcomes and workload recognition will subsequently improve. In other words, an accurate measure of faculty workload depends on an accurate measure of faculty support, educational practices, student support, and use of technology. When those factors are combined, it will be possible to effectively determine the increase or decrease of faculty workload with regards to web-based learning (p. 4). However, the authors state that the data related to faculty workload requirements are insufficient to support their previous statement. As such, the theoretical framework of this study is not strong enough. The study would have been stronger if the theoretical statement proposed that faculty workload increases with web-based instruction. The studies mentioned in the literature review section of this study would then either support or refute the hypothesis.

Human Rights Protection / Ethical Aspects

There is no mention of confidentiality of data derived from participants for this study (Andersen & Avery, 2008). Due to the nature of the study, however, it is not crucial that collected data from participants should be kept confidential. Furthermore, no basic human rights were compromised for the duration of this study, thereby making it irrelevant to make such a note in the study. However, it is important to note that participants were offered certain incentives to hand in their weekly data (p. 5). Although such practice is not always considered unethical practice during the course of studies, the omission of what specific incentives were offered may be suspect.

Global Issues

Data for this study was collected from one large Midwestern university within the U.S. Additionally, the premise of the study was the additional workload that faculty could incur as the result of teaching web-based courses. As such, no explicit global issues were addressed during the course of this study. It is a relatively small study centered on a local issue that affects the university from which study data was derived.

Implications of Findings

Andersen & Avery (2008) found no significant statistical difference between faculty workload of web-based instruction compared to faculty workload of face-to-face instruction. Because each type of instruction requires different types of instruction and preparation methods, the impact of either on faculty workload remains unclear. In other words, the findings of this study indicate no significant difference between either methods of instruction with regards to faculty workload. The most important finding of this study is that faculty employs different methods of preparation for each type of instruction.

Conclusion / Recommendations

Because the results of this study were inconclusive, Andersen & Avery (2008) suggest another study with a larger sample. They hypothesize that such a study will render more accurate results to improve student outcomes and support faculty. Based on the information presented in this study it is important to utilize a large enough sample so that study results would indicate a comprehensive conclusion.

References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (1999). AACN White Paper: Distance technology in nursing education. Retrieved from aacn.nche.edu: www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/positions/whitepaper.htm

Andersen, K. M., & Avery, M. D. (2008). Faculty Teaching Time: A Comparison of Web-Based and Face-to-Face Graduate Nursing Courses. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 5(1), 1-12.

Middaugh, M. F. (2002). Faculty productivity: Different strategies for different audiences. Planning for Higher Education, 30(3), 34-43.

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