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Keywords:

  • distance education;
  • midwifery education;
  • evaluation;
  • assessment;
  • clinical competencies

The goal of the teaching and learning process for health professionals is the acquisition of a fundamental core of knowledge, the demonstration of critical thinking ability, and the demonstration of competency in the performance of clinical skills. Teaching and learning in distance education programs require that the administration, teachers, and students be creative in developing evaluation strategies that can be adapted to the challenges of the cyberspace on-line educational environment. Evaluation standards for distance education programs recently have been delineated by federal agencies, private organizations, and academic accreditation associations. These standards are linked to principles of sound education practice that promote program quality, high levels of student-faculty interaction, and support effective teaching and learning in the distance education context. A growing body of evidence supports the conclusion that technology-enhanced teaching is equivalent in effectiveness compared with traditional methods when student-learning outcomes are the focus of measurement. An allied body of literature offers model approaches that can be useful to educators who must also conduct the evaluation of clinical skills, provide feedback, and promote socialization to the nurse-midwifery/midwifery role for students being educated in whole or in part through instruction delivered at a distance.