Impact of Caring Social Presence in Online Graduate Nursing Education
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Consistently in the literature and across all disciplines, caring social presence has been established as an essential component when creating an effective online learning environment. With continued growth in hybrid or exclusively online nursing programs, the successful implementation of caring social presence in online nursing education is vital when improving overall student satisfaction and educational outcomes. The purpose of this quasi-experimental, two cohort, post-only design research was to determine if a cloud-based communication platform would increase caring social presence in an online graduate nursing program with subsequently improved student satisfaction and perceived knowledge gain. One hundred forty-nine graduate nursing students enrolled in online graduate nursing courses were recruited via convenience sampling at a local midwestern university. The participants were divided into a cloud-based communication cohort and a comparison cohort. All participating students completed a post-course survey that included the Social Presence Scale, Student Perspective of Caring Online Tool, and university course survey. Results showed an increase in social presence, caring online, improved student satisfaction, and increased perceived knowledge gain through the implementation of the cloud-based communication tool. These findings can potentially transfer to all forms of virtual communication, including distance education, the virtual workplace, and patient care technologies.
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