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Duke University School of Nursing Receives 2011 Campus Technology Innovators Award

Faculty and staff from Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) helped create successful virtual poster sessions that won a 2011 Campus Technology Innovators Award.

In the seventh annual Campus Technology Innovators Award competition, ten winners were selected in six categories, out of 393 nominations submitted from higher education institutions around the globe. DUSON’s entry, called Immersive Virtual Poster Sessions, received the award in the Education Futurists category.

DUSON faculty and staff working on the Innovative Nursing Education Technologies (iNet) project developed the framework of the Immersive Virtual Poster Sessions in conjunction with the iNet conference that took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. They worked with VenueGen, a browser-based 3D immersive internet meeting platform, to create a virtual space that would appropriately display the posters and allow participants to discuss the research and projects presented.

iNet, a three-year project funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to encourage the integration of technology into nursing education, is a collaborative effort among nursing programs at Duke University, Western Carolina University, and University of North Carolina-Charlotte. iNet Project Director Barbara Turner is professor and chair of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program at DUSON.

iNet Program Coordinator Mary Barzee played a large part in the development of the winning entry. “We wanted to take advantage of current technology to broaden participation in the iNet conference,” said Barzee. “Poster presenters whose participation may have been hindered by budget cuts were able to share their work and exchange ideas in a virtual space, saving on travel and poster production costs.”

Presenters and attendees of the Immersive Virtual Poster Sessions created avatars that could depict non-verbal gestures and facial expressions. Using computers, headsets, and microphones, all participants could ask questions and engage in discussions about health care, education, and technology regardless of their location.

“I was very pleased that people from universities across the country participated,” says Barzee.

The 2011 Campus Technology Innovators award winners will be featured in the August issue of Campus Technology magazine, and the winning projects will be spotlighted at their eighteenth annual education technology conference, to be held June 25-28 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON), as a diverse community of scholars and clinicians, educates the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing, advances nursing science in issues of global import, and fosters the scholarly practice of nursing. In 2011, US News and World Report ranked Duke among the top 7 graduate schools of nursing in the nation. The School offers masters, PhD, and doctor of nursing practice degrees, as well as an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree to students who have previously completed an undergraduate degree. More than 700 individuals enrolled for Spring 2011 classes, the largest number of students in the School’s 80-year history.