Online learning has become a common means of enhancing face-to-face classroom learning and is at the center of most collaborative, multimedia educational environments. There is some evidence that students' self-regulatory (SR) learning can be facilitated in a web-based learning environment, but studies of the effectiveness of self-directed online courses for post-registration nursing students have been few, and the results have been inconclusive. This study qualitatively examined the ways in which adding an online, asynchronous learning component to a nursing course might facilitate post-registration nursing students' self-regulatory learning. Learners' asynchronous communication on an online bulletin board comprised the qualitative dataset. Content related to their e-learning activities and experiences was extracted and generalized in order to examine the possible effects of this online interaction on SR learning. The themes that emerged indicated that students practiced SR learning skills through their online peer interaction. We propose several strategies for facilitating a self-regulatory learning environment based on these results from a course for post-registration nursing students in Taiwan.
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