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The Stress of Online Learning

The Stress of Online Learning
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Author(s): Deana L. Molinari (Idaho State University, USA), Alice E. Dupler (Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing, USA) and Naomi Lungstrom (Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch285

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Abstract

Stress is recognized today as impacting both quality and length of life (Kiecolt-Glaser, McGuire, Robles, & Glaser, 2002). Stress was defined by Hans Seyle (1936) as the unspecified physiological response to aversive stimuli. The stress of learning is not yet understood. If stress impacts physical and emotional well-being, and lifelong learning is needed to survive in the information age, then a study of the stress of learning may impact both nursing and educational practice. Learning stress can create a number of long-term physiological and performance complications. Stress reduces immune function, making people vulnerable to disease. Studies indicate stress hormone levels can be predictive of relationship problems and chronic disease. Reducing stress could avoid colds, flu, and mild depressive symptoms, which complicate student relationships and achievements, thus increasing stress (Glaser, Robles, Malarkey, Sheridan & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2004). Stress also blocks learning by limiting perceptions, thinking, and memory capabilities during performance, triggering higher levels of stress during later performance events (Sapolsky, 1998). The inability to think or remember concepts, procedures, and methods during patient encounters can threaten lives.

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