- President's Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Technology (2014)
Barbara Friesth is a clinical associate professor, and assistant dean of learning resources, in the IU School of Nursing. Friesth’s work for the school, the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis campus, Indiana University, and the professional honor society for nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, aptly demonstrates advancement of student learning through technology. As assistant dean of learning resources, she is responsible for providing leadership and vision for the integration of instructional technologies into curricula for the nursing school.
Friesth has been instrumental in keeping the school abreast of the latest developments in technology, including overseeing the design and construction of the third-floor learning resource center and simulation lab, which opened in 2008 with state-of-the-art clinical instruction areas, including four high-fidelity simulation rooms and specialized audiovisual capture capabilities. She also provided leadership for teams outfitting several school classrooms with updated videoconferencing technologies, including two rooms with Polycom eagle eye directors. These rooms support the school’s distance-accessible graduate programs.
Throughout her tenure, Friesth has modeled and encouraged use of technology by faculty members in their courses, including spearheading the successful negotiation with a major publisher, to adopt its e-solution for student textbooks and learning materials. Friesth herself teaches several online courses in the graduate program; her strategies for modeling include the use of videoconferencing and incorporating IU AnyWare and e-text into her classes.
Friesth also played a key role in developing a partnership with IU Health to obtain access to electronic health records for student use, and to outfit the learning lab with wall-mounted laptops. These innovations have expanded the school’s ability to provide real-world informatics simulation applications for students. Friesth is an enthusiastic advocate for technology literacy, and believes the nursing profession has to bridge the digital divide and ensure informatics skills at all levels of the profession.