Developing a blended learning program for nursing and midwifery students in Iran: Process and preliminary outcomes

Mitra Zolfaghari, Reza Negarandeh, Sana Eybpoosh


Background: We aimed to develop and evaluate outcomes of a blended learning (BL) program for nursing and midwifery education in Iran.

Materials and Methods: This was a participatory action research project. After designing BL website, providing technological infrastructures, and holding preparatory workshops, 22 blended courses were designed. BL method was implemented for one semester. Students’ grade point average, participation with courses, and opinion about educational methods, and instructors’ attitude and opinion about educational methods were assessed.

Results: Most students (n = 181; 72.1%) and 17 instructors (28.3%) consented to participate in the study. Students’ grade point average and participation was significantly higher in BL rather than in face‑to‑face method (P < 0.0001). Most instructors (n = 11, 65%) had positive attitude toward BL method. Textual analysis of participants’ opinion showed that most students preferred BL method and felt more independent in this method. However, they complained about lack of easy access to Internet and weakness in computer skills. Instructors admired the flexibility and incentives that had been provided in the program. However, some of them complained about the time-consuming nature of BL course design.

Conclusion: The program showed positive effect on students’ learning outcomes and participation. The strengths and weaknesses of the program should be considered for development of next phase of the project. Lessons learned in this phase might be helpful for decision makers who tend to develop similar programs in Iran. Motivational and communicational issues and users’ IT skills should be addressed in every BL program.

Key words: Action research, distance, education, Iran, midwifery, nursing

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