Blessing Begins Webinars for Nursing Utilizing Collaborative Technology
By Arlis Dittmer
Coordinator of Library Services
Blessing Health Professions Library
Blessing Health Professions Library in Quincy, Illinois, recently completed a Technology Improvement Award project titled, Blessing Begins Webinars for Nursing Utilizing Collaborative Technology . The library staff taught the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing faculty and other healthcare professionals how to use a SMART Board and how to produce webinars. The targeted population for this year long project was nursing educators. The faculty in two distinct programs, the RN-BSN faculty and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Program faculty were the most interested in participating. The project was modestly successful. As we have discovered in all of our previous technology projects, PDAs, Podcasts, Clickers in the Classroom, the learning curve is steep and initial participation is small. All three of the past projects have shown remarkable growth and acceptance in the years after the pilot year. They are now all part of our teaching/learning tool box. We have the same expectation for this project.
Webinar technology was easily accepted by the students but not so easily by the faculty. We used iLinc which required extensive training for optimal usage. We did have a few remarkable success stories. Although the RN-BSN program is not online, we had one student from Chicago who wanted to graduate from the same program as her mother. Another student, originally from Columbia, South America, had to return home during the semester as her mother was kidnapped. She was able to keep up with the class from that distance until her mother’s safe return.
The Pharmacy Technician program made the most use of the SMART Board. They liked using it to capture drug calculations which require a progression of steps. They could toggle back and forth between screens showing each step in the calculation. The faculty plan to produce webinars in the future for course review and licensure examination preparation. These webinars will be available to others outside of their program.
In addition to pharmacy technician and nursing student use, the project plan was to produce continuing education webinars on various nursing topics. Two webinars of a projected four were produced. The educator interested in presenting additional topics was unable to do so due to work changes caused by illness and resignations at the college.
How do we measure a successful project? We used the SMART Board. We produced webinars. We developed handouts and survey tools. We now understand the technologies and can use them successfully in the future. We planted the seeds of future collaboration.