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The Institute for Educational Excellence (IEE) at Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) reflects the renaissance in the higher education community regarding the formation of pedagogical scholars, the preparation of faculty for the teaching role, and the need for evidence-based teaching practices.
In 2008 DUSON intentionally positioned itself at the forefront of this movement with the establishment of the IEE. The overarching purpose of the Institute was, and still is, to facilitate ongoing transformation in the pedagogy used in nursing education and to prepare faculty to be leaders in nursing education in order to prepare nurse clinicians and scientists to meet the rapidly changing needs of individuals, families and communities with complex health care problems. The IEE is led by a director who is a full-time, regular-ranked faculty member.
To achieve these aims, the IEE is responsible for collaborating with the School’s Director of Faculty Affairs to coordinate the orientation of all new full-time faculty. The IEE also collaborates with the full-time Clinical Nurse Educators and others in the ABSN program to plan and implement orientation programs for clinical instructors, and it offers programs and a variety of resources to enhance the pedagogical expertise of all nurse educators.
The specific goals of the IEE are as follows:
- Prepare master teachers who design and implement academic programs that prepare graduates as outstanding clinicians, scholars, and leaders in the field of nursing.
- Develop faculty to serve as nursing education leaders and pedagogical scholars who transform nursing education.
- Sustain the Duke University School of Nursing as a center of teaching excellence, known for its innovative academic programs; its conduct of transformative educational research; its commitment to the ongoing development of faculty; and its exceptional graduates.
- Create a culture of excellence and innovation, as well as a community of learning, where faculty continually seek to become more effective and innovative teachers who serve as role models for students who, themselves, are becoming lifelong learners committed to excellence.
- Contribute to the development of the science of nursing education.
The IEE sponsors other programs that enhance the learning environment, promote faculty/student interaction, and encourage a dynamic learning experience. Some of these programs include the following:
- 20-Minute Mentor Commons. A collection of 20-minute webinars offered by Magna Publications that addresses topics of interest to educators: student engagement; teaching and learning; teaching online; assessment of learning; classroom management; legal concerns; and others. Faculty can watch any webinar at any time.
- Course Peer Review. Faculty teaching online or face-to-face courses may request a comprehensive review of their course by a colleague. The reviewers use established criteria for quality courses and provide their peer with written and verbal feedback about the strengths of the course and areas that could be improved. This is a voluntary service.
These programs, combined with all the others offered by the IEE, encourage faculty to take creative risks in their teaching, while building their strategies on sound pedagogical principles and educational research. By fostering an open, innovative culture that supports continued improvement and an energetic teaching-learning exchange, excellence in nursing education is attained.