Title: Distance Education in nursing (Third edition)
Authors: Karen Frith and Deborah J Clark
Publisher: Spring Publishing Company, 2012
Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This book is written in the US and is in its third edition dealing with the ever changing aspect of distance learning for nurses. Technology enables the student to use technology to learn. It is not always practical for a nurse to further her education by being classroom based nor can the workplace nowadays release someone on infinite study days to a classroom.
It specifies what can and can’t be taught via technology, via the internet.
This is to aid teachers look at their teaching approach and move with the times to aid the learner.
What were the highlights?
This edition is in keeping with the need and advances of distance learning. Today we have conference facilities, e-learning within the workplace, distance learning within course work and technology, whether we like it or not is here to stay.
This book aids the teacher to engage in new ways to teach within technology, and as this can be both daunting for the teacher and student, the books guides the reader through how to support the learner.
It facilitates the teacher to teach from RN to doctorate level.
Karen Frith and Deborah Clark, the editors, both hold doctorates in nursing in the US. They have both written widely on this subject. Not only are they professors but they have both got years of clinical experience as well.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The authors are realistic in that the teacher must be under no illusion this is not to take the easy option and to be effective, this will be time consuming. Time needs to be factored in for answering student emails and electronic record keeping as well as maintaining the site.
For teachers who have had mainly face to face teaching, this book guides them through the way forward in a reassuring way, with helpful tips and advice.
The book gives an excellent synopsis of what distance education is, and acknowledges some will only be aware of online software products and this leads the reader on to a greater understanding.
Once the reader grasps this is still teaching, with preparation, tools and lesson plans, the reader then realises this is attainable and can work.
Patricia Benner from Novice to Expert (1984) has for me personally been an inspiration and driving force throughout my career. A new ground-breaking on line education scheme is being established by this person and this is an aspect, readers will want to find out more.
There is just so much to gain from this book, from overcoming barriers, mobile computing, programme design to how quality can be monitored.
This is extremely well referenced and up to date; it even advises the reader of how social networking can be used effectively in education.
Although some of the text is for readers in the US, there is so much that can be applied to the UK.
Who should read it?
This book is not just for the academic university tutor but for all healthcare professionals who teach. It would be useful to those in hospitals revamping mandatory training, e- learning and other courses to fit in with the modern world around us.
This edition needs to be on the shelf for all who teach and needs to ensure that technology is not a barrier to teaching, but a tool to move with the ever changing world we live in.