NOTE FOR EDITOR: The Effect Of Virtual Versus Traditional Learning 
In Achieving Competency-Based Skills


By rapid developing of the network technology, the internet-based learning methods are substituting the traditional classrooms making them expand to the virtual network learning environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of virtual systems on competency-based skills of first-year nursing students. Materials and methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 86 freshman nursing students were recruited. Nursing Fundamentals and Skills (including theoretical and practical credits) was decided as the teaching course. The theory and practical contents were taught in one group by conventional method (face to face teaching, demonstration on moulage) and for another by virtual simulation and interactive multimedia. The two groups were the same for the content being taught, the instructor and the final evaluation. Paired t-test and independent sample t-test was used for statistical analysis. Results: In theoretical exam, the mean score in virtual teaching group was higher than traditional group (P<0.001); however, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the result of objective structured clinical examination. Conclusions: Using virtual systems is beneficial in enhancing student learning. Both traditional and virtual methods can be used in teaching skills in nursing students; however, it seems that combination of the two can facilitate knowledge transfer.

KEYWORDS: Competency-Based Education; Computer Simulations; Nursing.