Designing a family health nursing online course: Weaving accessible pedagogy approaches
Keywords:relational inquiry, family, online course, teaching learning strategies, relational, reflection, storytelling, accessible pedagogy approaches
We are writing this paper to report on students’ and faculty experiences in an online family nursing health course based on 'relational inquiry', that is, a way of thinking that situates individuals within their cultural and social context. Research shows a gap exists between what nursing students are taught and what they later find out nursing really is. In addition, with the increased use of online nursing core courses in the curriculum, facilitating accessability and engaging the diverse learner in the complex nursing realities can be even more challenging. During the last 5 years, we have been teaching a family health assessment course using Doane and Varcoe’s (2015) relational inquiry concepts for Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) bridging to a Bachelor of science in Nursing (BScN). Teaching relational inquiry concepts fully online has been challenging in terms of helping the diverse learner access and navigate the complex nursing workplace realities and form a virtual relationship with self, peers, faculty, and the online environment. Through the use of families’ who are situated in diverse culture and context, relational inquiry acknowledges nurses’ workplace realities and then offers students ways to navigate this complexity. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to describe four accessible pedagogy approaches we included in our online course (e.g., creating a video or transcript; posting or replying to an article; joining a synchronized discussion; and participating in a non-synchronized discussion) and report students’ and faculty experiences from a relational inquiry lens.
Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada; Canadian Association of School of Nursing; Canadian Nurses Association (2009). Cultural competence and cultural safety in nursing education: A framework retrieved may 26 from https://cna-aiic.ca/~/media/cna/page-content/pdfen/
Aronson, J. (2000). Sound and Fury, Documentary film produced by Weisberg, R. productions
Browne AJ, Doane GH, Reimer J, MacLeod ML, McLellan E. Public health nursing practice with ‘high priority’ families: the significance of contextualizing ‘risk’ (2010) Nursing Inquiry 17: 27-38.
Bounds A. (2013). The Snowball Effect: Communication Techniques to Make You Unstoppable, John Wiley & Son publisher
Chen, R., Dore, K., Grierson, L., Hatala, R., & Norman, G. (2014). Cognitive load theory: Implications for nursing education and research, Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 46, 28–41 Retrieved from http://cjnr.archive.mcgill.ca/article/viewFile/2447/2441
Delgaty, L., Fisher, J. & Thomson, R. (2017) The “Dark Side” of technology in medical education, MedEdPublish, retrieved may 1 2017 from https://www.mededpublish.org/manuscripts/978,
Doane GH, Varcoe C. Relational practice and nursing obligations (2007) Advance Nursing Science 30: 192-205.
Doane, G.H., and Varcoe, C. (2015). How to nurse: Relational Inquiry with individuals and families in changing health and health care context. Philadelphia, PA.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Doane, GH. Beyond behavioral skills to human-involved processes: Relational nursing practice and interpretive pedagogy (2002) Journal of Nursing Education 41: 400-404.
Elder, B.L. & Koehn, M.L. (2009). Assessment tool for nursing student computer competencies. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30(3), 148-152
Fetter, M. (2008). Enhancing baccalaureate nursing information technology outcomes: Faculty
perspectives. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarly, 5, 3.
Gardner JN, & Sullivan BL. (2004). The national newspaper as a tool for educational empowerment: origins and rationale [webpage on the Internet] The New York Times New York, NY: The New York Times; retrieved may 27 2017 from from: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/college/faculty/coll_mono_gard.html
Garrison, D., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), pp. 95-105. Retrieved from
Hartrick G. Relational capacity: the foundation for interpersonal nursing practice (1997) Journal of Advance Nursing 26: 523-528. 6.
Harris, J., Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge and
learning activity types: Curriculum-based technology integration reframed. Journal of Research
on Technology in Education, 41(4), pp. 393-416. Retrieved from
Huang, E. Y., Lin, S. W., & Huang, T. K. (2012). What type of learning style leads to online participation in the mixed-mode e-learning environment? A study of software usage instruction. Computers & Education, 58(1), pp. 338-349. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.08.003
Hrastinski, S. (2008). Asynchronous & synchronous e-learning. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 31(4), pp. 51-55. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0848.pdf
Imber-Black, E. (2014). Will Talking About It Make It Worse? Facilitating Family Conversations in the Context of Chronic and Life-Shortening Illness Journal of Family Nursing, 20(2) 151–163 DOI:
Kember, D. (2006). Interpreting students’ workload and factors which shape students perceptions of their workload. Studies in Higher Education. 29,165-184, Retrieved from
Konnikova, M. (2014). Will MOOCS be flukes? The New Yorker, Retrieved from
Louise S., Sylvester, A. & Johnstone, D. (2017) Negotiating Digital Divides: Perspectives From the New Zealand Schooling System. Journal of Research on Technology in Education 49:1-2, p.31-42.
Levey, J. (2018). Universal Design for Instruction in Nursing Education: An integrative Review. Nurse Education Perspective, 39, 3, 156-160.
Liyanagunawardena, T. R. (2015). Massive open online courses. Humanities, 4, 35–41.
Lyman, F. (1981). The Responsive Classroom Discussion: The Inclusion of All Students. Mainstreaming Digest. University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Marks, B. A. (2007). Cultural competence revisited: Nursing students with disabilities. Journal of Nursing Education, 46, 70-74.
McCall, Holly, A. & Rambaldi, G. (2006). The snowball: Tips for trainer. Participatory Learning and Action, 54, 135-137, Retrieved may 2 2017 from http://pgistk.
McKeachie, W. J., Pintrich, P. R., Lin, Y. G., Smith, D. A., & Sharma, R. (2000). Teaching and learning in the college classroom: A review of the research literature (2nd ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.
McLain, B. (2005). Estimating Faculty and Student workload for interaction in online graduate music classes retrieved Oct 12 from file:///Users/irisepstein/Downloads/v9n3_mclain_1.pdf
Moore, C. (2004). Disability as a difference and the nursing profession. Journal of Nursing Education, 43, 197-201.
Morisson, D (2012). Are Video Lectures effective in Online Courses?, Online Learning Insight
Nagle, L.M. and Clarke, H. F. (2004) Assessing Informatics in Canadian Schools of Nursing.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 107(Pt 2): 912-915.
Orellana, A. (2006). Class size and interaction in online courses. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education,7(3), pp. 229–248
Phillips, J.A; Schumacher, C., & Arif, S. (2016). Time spent, workload, and student and faculty
perceptions in a blended learning environment, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
; 80 1-9.
Race, D., Boxall, K., & Carson, I. (2005). Towards a dialogue for practice: Reconciling social role valorization and the social model of disability. Disability & Society, 20, 507-521.
Semiu B. (2010). Promotion of newspapers as a supplementary teaching and learning resource for quality education. Journal of Library Educational Media and Information Studies (JOLEMIS);1(1):51–66.
Shakespeare, T., & Watson, N. (2002). The social model of disability: An outdated ideology? Research in Social Science and Disability, 2, 928
Simons L.; Tee, S.; Lathalean, J.; Burgess, A.; Herbert, L. & Gibson, C. (2007). A socially inclusive approach to user participation in higher education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 58,3 246-255
Sowers, J., & Smith, M.R. (2002). Disability as a difference. Journal of Nursing Education, 41, 331-332.
Spadoni M. & Sevean P. (2016).Relational Inquiry—Attending to the Spirit of Nursing Students
Religions, 7, 34;
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC, 2017) Retrieved may 26 2017 from
Thompson FE. Moving from codes of ethics to ethical relationships for midwifery practice (2002) Nursing Ethics 9: 522-536.
Topkaya, S. & Kaya, N. (2014) Nurses' computer literacy and attitudes towards the use of computers in health care. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 2:141-9.
Wong, L.; Greenhalgh, T. & Pawson, R. (2010). Internet-based medical education: a realist review of what works, for whom and in what circumstances British Medical Education, 10 (12)
Wilbur, K. (2013). Using daily newspapers to develop professional literacy- descriptive study. Advance Medical Education Practice, 4, 95-99.
Wright D, Brajtman S. (2011) Relational and embodied knowing: nursing ethics within the
interprofessional team Nursing Ethics 18: 20-30.
Zhenghau, C. Alcorn, B., Christensen, G., Erikson, N., Koller, D., & Emanuel, E. (2015). Whose
benefiting from MOOCs and why. Harverd Business Review, Retrieved from
Zou, P. (2016) Nursing and Health Care Research Article Relational Practice in Nursing: A Case
Analysis, Nursing and Health care, 1,1 | P 1 -5
How to Cite
Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.