CREATION OF AN ON-LINE COURSE AT THE FACULTY OF NURSING SCIENCE OF UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL: AN EXAMPLE OF CHANGE IN PRACTICE
Possessing a unique expertise in competency based learning in nursing and a determination to make a mark on the on-line learning market, the Faculty of nursing science of University of Montreal (Quebec, Canada) began development of its on-line program in 2008. Programs at the graduate and undergraduate level were identified for development. Courses were then selected for on-line development in such a way as to ensure that the initial student cohort would follow the development of each course. Consequently, development of on-line learning occurred at two levels: the program level and the course level. Activities were identified for each level and planned for development over a 5 year period. Four scenarios for course development were identified and selected based on specific criteria such as level of needed content development, learning situations, course sequencing, available professor resources, and deadlines. The first course to be developed for graduate students was the SOI 6177 – Program development and project management. A course structure was elaborated based on pedagogical choices such as student-teacher contact, student collaborations, active learning activities, rapid student feedback, an organised and structured course environment, high academic but realistic standards, and respect of various learning styles of students. Available technological systems i.e. WebCT, Elluminate, PowerPoint, PDF documents, also influenced elaboration of the course structure. An analysis of the process was completed following the experience. Several strengths and weaknesses of the process were identified which facilitated changes required at the institutional, faculty, and support level. The experience proved to be positive and should be shared since four courses have been developed and two courses are in the process of being developed.