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22st Annual OLC International Conference
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Leveraging Voice Thread to Engage Learners and Grow Nurse Leaders

Deborah Merriam (Daemen College, USA)
Janice Hobba-Glose (Daemen College, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2015 - 11:20am
Institutional Leadership & Strategy
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Best Practices
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Court 3
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Concurrent Session 6

Voice Thread was used to engage learners and foster a Community of Inquiry while flipping the classroom, building online social connections and nurse leaders.

Extended Abstract

This interactive presentation will focus on the evaluation of the use of an innovative social media teaching strategy, Voice Thread, on the community of inquiry in a blended, undergraduate nursing leadership course. We will demonstrate best practices related to the use of Voice Thread to enhance learners engagement, satisfaction, socialization and learning. Examples will be shown of how Voice Thread facilitated learners achievement of end of course objectives and engagement with course concepts while strengthening their abilities as nurse leaders Participants will be able to identify and share best practices in the implementation of Voice Thread to enhance blended learning through flipping the classroom and online dialogue. Lessons learned will also be shared with participants.
The use of Voice Thread, in a hybrid undergraduate nursing leadership course enabled nursing learners to connect and collaborate in their community of learning as they shared their stories and insights from their journeys as nurse leaders. Voice Thread drew on all domains of learning and supported the scaffolding and construction of knowledge within a social construct. It appealed to kinesthetic learners with a preference for learning through real life experiences as it facilitated the connection between theory and real life experiences. The use of Voice Thread learning activities is congruent with the Chickering and Ehrmanns 1996 Seven Principles of Good Practice as it encouraged faculty-learner contact, encouraged active learning, fostered timely feedback and was respectful of diverse ways of learning. Voice Thread provided opportunities for open communication, collaboration and active engagement during online weeks as nursing learners inserted video and audio comments asynchronously using a webcam, smart phone or microphone. Voice Thread was also used for Flipping the classroom on traditional land based weeks. As learners reflected on the brief pre-class Voice Thread that provided an overview of key concepts for the class, they were able to begin to explore these concepts, providing a basis for the in class integration and application. The dialogue that began in the comments continued in the on campus class. Voice Thread was also used to enhance engagement in discussion questions, as well as for a team Plan-Do-Study-Act quality improvement cycle project where critical thinking was fostered as learners constructed a Voice Thread presentation.
A quasi-experimental study was conducted in the spring 2015 semester that evaluated the impact of Voice Thread on a Community of Inquiry (social, teaching, and cognitive presence) and learner satisfaction with the course. The research question was What is the impact of Voice Thread in a hybrid undergraduate nursing leadership course on a community of learning and learner satisfaction? Three sections of the hybrid nursing leadership course used Voice Thread for pre-class learning, brief conceptual Voice Thread presentations for online weeks, discussion questions and the team project. The use of brief Voice Thread conceptual presentations provided the opportunity for learners to raise questions and additional dialogue.
The control group viewed narrated PowerPoints; used text based discussion forums and narrated a PowerPoint for the team project. The previously established Community of Inquiry Survey (Arbaugh et al, 2008) was used to measure the Community of Inquiry framework in the interventional and control groups at the end of the spring semester. The IDEA survey was used to measure learner satisfaction.
Voice Thread was first piloted in the fall 2014 semester, allowing faculty and learners to become fluent in its use. Nursing learners overwhelmingly supported the use of Voice thread, expressing appreciation at the ability to ask questions, hear each others voice and use their mobile phones to insert audio, video or text comments. Qualitative learner comments were: I am enjoying Voice Thread, I really enjoy and appreciate hearing the opinions from the other learners especially because I have not yet been able to find a job. I feel like the discussions in this class are giving me some real world insight to the field! and I really did enjoy using Voice Thread for some of our discussions and for the presentations. I really absorbed the information better through being able to listen to the (Voice Thread) PowerPoints multiple times.
The Community of Inquiry Survey (Arbaugh et al., 2008) enabled learners to evaluate their perception of the social, cognitive and teacher presence. We are able to compare the control groups perception of the social, cognitive and teacher presence with the interventional groups perceptions. Data on the learners satisfaction will be obtained from the use of the IDEA survey used by the college to evaluate learner satisfaction, and perception of progress towards learning objectives.
As faculty endeavor to building communities of learning within blended learning environments, innovative social media teaching strategies are increasingly being used. The use of Voice Thread as a best practice pedagogical strategy is effective to increase learner engagement in online discussions and to flip the classroom in the blended learning environment. This quasi-experimental study provides valuable insight into the impact of implementing best practices in the use of social media, Voice Thread, on the learners perception of social, cognitive and teacher presence. Qualitative data collected also reinforced the ease of learner use and the benefits learners described from their learning experiences.
Arbaugh, J., Cleveland-Innes, M., Diaz, S., Garrison, D., Ice, P., Richardson, J., & Swan, J. (2008). Developing a community of inquiry instrument: Testing a measure of the Community of Inquiry Framework using a multi-institutional sample. Internet and Higher Education, 11, 133-136. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2008.06.003

Lead Presenter

Deborah Merriam has a passion for quality and excellence in nursing education. She has taught in face to face, blended and fully online undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Her areas of interest in nursing research include the use of social media to enhance the community of learning, best practices in online teaching, and characteristics of quality and excellence in nursing education. She is also the current president of the New York League for Nursing.