Teaching Future Educators to Develop, Design, and Deliver an Online Learning Module

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Preparing future educators to teach online is imperative in nursing education. The goal of the presentation is to demonstrate the use of scaffolding and applied learning as pedagogical approaches to teach graduate students in a Master of Science Nurse Educator program how to develop, design, and deliver an online module.

Sponsored By


Dr. Elizabeth Gazza is a professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). She has facilitated learning in online undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level nursing programs for over 9 years. She has conducted research about the faculty role and specifically about the experience of teaching online in nursing education. She is a fellow in the National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education.
April Matthias received her BSN from Waynesburg University, and began working as a Registered Nurse in the Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She has gone on to work in several departments, including the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, Level II/III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Post-partum, and Labor and Delivery. In 2004, she earned her MSN with a major in Education from Duke University School of Nursing, and in 2011 received her PhD in Nursing from ECU. She has 18 years of teaching experience, at both the community college and university level. Her teaching responsibilities regularly include Professional Nursing of Baccalaureate Nurse as well as courses in research and health policy. In 2014, she was awarded the Discere Aude Award from the Center of Teaching Excellence at UNCW.
After teaching Physical Education in the public school system for 4 years, I decided to leave education and become a nurse. I have been a nurse for 12 years. Dialysis is my background before becoming the orientation coordinator at Nash UNC Health Care System. I have been in professional development for 2.5 years. I decided to further my education and pursue my MSN at UNC-Wilmington. UNC-Wilmingon has an online RN-MSN Education Track that fit my schedule and educational needs. Upon completion of the program, I plan to graduate in December 2018.

Extended Abstract

Nursing education has embraced online teaching and learning as a way to make graduate programs accessible to practicing nurses.  It is imperative that students who enroll in programs that prepare them to become educators learn how to develop, design, and deliver online courses. This presentation offers effective practices for preparing future educators for the role of online educator.

The Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Educator (MSN-NE) program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a graduate program that prepares nurses for the educator role.  Program graduates secure educator positions in clinical and/or academic settings. The program includes courses that focus on teaching and learning theory, instructional strategies, and the assessment and evaluation of learning in didactic, clinical, and online learning environments.  All courses are 7 weeks in length and are delivered online and asynchronously via a learning management system.

NSG 525 Foundations and Evidence-Based Practices for Nursing Education Distance Learning is a required 3-credit course in the MSN-NE program. The course introduces online students to online teaching and learning including instructional and design theory, program accreditation standards, curriculum development, and instructional design. Moving from learner to designer and deliverer, or teacher, in a short 7-week period can be challenging for graduate nursing students considering their limited experience with instructional technology. Most often, their only experience with online education was as a learner in an online course, program, or staff development session. Therefore, the most beneficial learning experiences for these students include those that progressively move them towards a better understanding of online teaching and learning and that have opportunities for them to apply what they are learning in the role of developer, designer, and teacher.

The goal of this interactive presentation is to demonstrate how to effectively use scaffolding and applied learning as pedagogical approaches when teaching graduate students how to develop, design, and deliver an online learning module in a learning management system. Scaffolding supports learners as they develop curriculum for an online module. The scaffold includes development of a curriculum map through blogs and peer review. Applied learning involves experiences where students must integrate theory, ideas, and skills into new settings and contexts; it often extends learning beyond the classroom into real life settings. Students design and deliver an online learning module within the learning management system as a requirement of the course. The use of applied learning ensures that future educators have experience designing and delivering an online learning module.

The presentation includes an overview of an innovative approach to online teaching and learning; faculty and student perspectives on developing, designing, and delivering online instruction within an accelerated online graduate course; an interactive question and answer session; and opportunities for attendees to share their approaches to teaching future educators how to teach online.  Presentation slides will be available to all attendees. This session would be beneficial to faculty, clinical educators, administrators, instructional designers, and technology support professionals who want to learn about an innovative approach to preparing and supporting the next generation of online educators.