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Research Brief 

The Use of Standards for Peer Review of Online Nursing Courses: A Pilot Study

Barbara Battin Little, DNP, MPH, RN

Abstract

This article describes a pilot study on the use of online course standards for peer review of Web-based nursing courses. A peer review team consisting of a nurse educator and an instructional designer piloted the use of two sets of online course standards in two RN-to-baccalaureate nursing courses. The College of Public Health Online Course Standards and the Quality Matters (QM) Peer Course Review Rubric were used to review the courses. The standards facilitated the peer review process and supplied important criteria for measuring the quality of the courses. Analysis of the rubric scores revealed trends in criteria not met in either course, indicating the need for educational program improvement and faculty training. The QM tool had more consistent results among peer reviewers and was perceived as easier to use. In addition, QM standards provided a useful mechanism for benchmarking against higher education courses throughout the United States.

Authors

Dr. Little is from the College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Address correspondence to Barbara Battin Little, DNP, MPH, RN, PO Box 100187, Gainesville, FL 32610-0187; e-mail: .bblittle@ufl.edu

10.3928/01484834-20090615-10

This article describes a pilot study on the use of online course standards for peer review of Web-based nursing courses. A peer review team consisting of a nurse educator and an instructional designer piloted the use of two sets of online course standards in two RN-to-baccalaureate nursing courses. The College of Public Health Online Course Standards and the Quality Matters (QM) Peer Course Review Rubric were used to review the courses. The standards facilitated the peer review process and supplied important criteria for measuring the quality of the courses. Analysis of the rubric scores revealed trends in criteria not met in either course, indicating the need for educational program improvement and faculty training. The QM tool had more consistent results among peer reviewers and was perceived as easier to use. In addition, QM standards provided a useful mechanism for benchmarking against higher education courses throughout the United States.

Dr. Little is from the College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Address correspondence to Barbara Battin Little, DNP, MPH, RN, PO Box 100187, Gainesville, FL 32610-0187; e-mail: .bblittle@ufl.edu

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