Live Health Assessment in a Virtual Class: Eliminating Educational Burdens for Rural Distance Learners


Online nursing education presents challenges for educators. Demonstrating and testing skills acquisition in a nontraditional face to face format is difficult. The Learning Exchange Reverse Demonstration (LERD) Model provides a mechanism that allows students in an online setting to demonstrate skills acquisition with real time faculty feedback, increased student satisfaction, and measureable learned outcomes. A sample consisting of online rural RN- BSN students who utilized the LERD Model was compared to a traditional face to face RN-BSN sample. Both groups were completing the same Health Assessment course. Questionnaires distributed to both groups after completion of the Health Assessment course indicated that the rural students were very satisfied with the LERD Model experience, had less travel and time off work expenses, and achievement of learning outcomes was equal to or greater than those in the traditional face to face format. Although initial expenses are required for the LERD Model, once instituted this model offers a viable alternative to the traditional face to face format that in today’s world of online learning is not always possible or practical. This method could allow rural students the opportunity to continue their nursing education while remaining in their communities, thus insuring needed health care will continue in rural areas.


Key words: online learning, student satisfaction, nursing education, rural nursing innovations

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