Georgetown ITEL Grants Support NHS Faculty

JANUARY 7, 2015 – A new round of grant funding through Georgetown’s Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ITEL) will support the work of faculty members at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Kelley Anderson, PhD, RN, FNP, assistant professor of nursing, Joan Burggraf Riley, MS, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, FAAN, assistant dean for educational innovation, Jason Tilan, PhD, assistant professor of human science and nursing, and Ronit Yarden, PhD, assistant professor of human science, received awards.

“A key part of our strategic planning efforts involves educational innovation and the role of technology,” says Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, the school’s interim dean. “Our school has made a mark in this area through leadership in distance education and experiential learning opportunities. The new grants support the further development of innovative ideas, and I congratulate the recipients.”

First-Year Colloquium

Riley, who is also associate professor of human science and nursing, will focus her award on the school’s colloquium for first-year students.

“The [colloquium] provides an opportunity to equip students as they begin their Georgetown journeys with the skills and self-awareness needed to become their best, authentic selves,” according to Riley’s abstract. 

The project aims to “develop faculty capacity to create a learning climate that facilitates engagement, fosters connections, and promotes self-awareness, three key preconditions for student success” and “examine the effectiveness of e-portfolios as a tool for creating a transformative learning climate.”

Systems Biology

On her grant, Yarden will work with co-investigators Jan LaRocque, PhD, assistant professor of human science, and Yuriy Gusev, PhD, senior bioinformatics scientist at the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Yarden will use the grant to focus on the course “Genome Instability and Human Disease,” which she co-teaches with LaRocque. The class, she writes, “has focused on the molecular mechanisms involved in maintenance of genome stability and response to DNA damage by providing background and historical perspective of the field as well as current developments.”

The group will look at integrating systems biology research technologies into their course, approaches to student engagement in course content, and faculty development in the systems biology field.

Capstone Experience

Tilan will collaborate with co-investigator J.P. Hyatt, PhD, associate professor of human science, to investigate the impact of tablet-based “Chalk Talks” to facilitate learning in the Department of Human Science’s senior-level capstone course “Physiological Adaptations.”

“[We] will use student oral presentations as the medium to evaluate the student learning experience and understanding of integrative physiology using technology in a different way,” Tilan says. “We can assess students’ command of the material using these ‘Chalk Talks,’ or semi-extemporaneous delivery of class material using a blank chalk or dry-erase board. Using tablet technology instead of these more traditional approaches will deepen other students’ learning and collaborative work, as well as enhance breadth of knowledge regarding adaptive processes of the human body.” 

EPortfolios for DNP Students

Finally, Anderson will explore the use of ePortfolios “to assist faculty and students to plan, track, and evaluate learning, performance, and the presentation of the materials of the educational experience.”

Students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, she says, will utilize ePortfolio accounts to create a collection of their assignments, scholarly activities, and reflections on their education.

“With the ePortfolio I would hope to assist students in understanding and articulating how experiences in the classroom and outside of the classroom – such as the clinical experiences, executive sessions, student activities, and employment – have impacted their learning” while visibly showcasing what they have learned, she says.

By Bill Cessato