Penn State faculty receive AJN Book of Year Award in IT category

March 22, 2011

A group of Penn State faculty members recently received an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in the category of Information Technology. "Integrating Technology in Nursing Education: Tools for the Knowledge Era," published by Jones and Bartlett Learning, was co-authored by Kathleen Mastrian, associate professor and program coordinator for nursing at Penn State Shenango; Dee McGonigle, retired associate professor of nursing in information sciences and technology and computational science at Penn State New Kensington; Wendy L. Mahan, instructional designer with the College of Health and Human Development and the School of Nursing; and Brett Bixler, instructional designer with Education Technology Services, both Penn State University Park campus.

The AJN Book of the Year award is a long-standing tradition that recognizes excellence in nursing publishing. Since 1969, the American Journal of Nursing has been publishing an annual list of the best in nursing publishing. Published in the January issue of the journal, the AJN Book of the Year program is a prestigious competition that garners the attention of its 342,000 readers, as well as librarians and faculty who are not subscribers. The most valuable texts of each year are chosen by AJN's panel of judges.

Designed for nursing educators and students interested in the field of nursing education, "Integrating Technology in Nursing Education: Tools for the Knowledge Era" provides valuable, easy-to-use strategies on incorporating technology into the classroom. The text examines the increased role of technology in healthcare and its transformational impact on that field, allowing nurses to understand current and future trends and thus, integrate technology into nursing education in order to effectively prepare students for a new, technologically-driven healthcare environment. Also featured are topics on learning theories, the instructional design process, changes in higher education, and variations in learning environments. Using case studies, critical-thinking exercises, weblinks, and more, the text challenges nurses to think critically and formulate compelling teaching strategies.

According to Joyce P. Griffin-Sobel, assistant dean for curriculum and technology, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, New York City, “This book is a unique and welcome addition to the literature on teaching with technology. What makes it so outstanding is its comprehensive integration of the current state of knowledge about how people learn. Key to integrating technology in nursing education is being able to manage the changes that take place, and the authors present an interesting discussion on working with faculty and systems. Most of the technologies that educators may be interested in using in their teaching repertoire are discussed in a practical way, citing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Constant attention is paid to evidence based education. Chapters on selecting teaching tools, copyright, and Web 2.0 will help even the most technophobic nurse educators update their skills. I particularly loved the exemplars, which give the reader glimpses into the practical application of technological learning resources to teaching
evidence-based practice, communication, safety, and other timely topics. I’ve recommended the book to all faculty members with whom I discuss technological teaching strategies.”

Mastrian is senior managing editor of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI). She has been involved in the education of nontraditional aged students for over 30 years in the registered nurse (RN) to bachelor of science nursing program. Mastrian is active in the development of technology enhanced courses for RNs facilitating asynchronous participation and active and collaborative learning. She is one of the founding proposers to place the RN to BS program online for the Penn State’s World Campus, has developed four of the courses for that curriculum, and teaches at least one section per semester for the World Campus program. Recently, she has been asked to teach sociology for the World Campus, and to facilitate the online teacher training course, OL2000 for Penn State’s World Campus. She has published over 30 nursing journal articles and recently co-edited and published a textbook, "Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge," (Jones and Bartlett 2009) that has been marketed in the US and abroad.

McGonigle  is currently a professor of nursing at Chamberlain College of Nursing, a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and editor-in-chief of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI). She is actively involved in developing online courses for the informatics program at Chamberlain. McGonigle is interested in the educational impact of the human-technology interface. Prior to her retirement from Penn State, she conceptualized and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Online RN to BS Nursing Degree program delivered through Penn State’s World Campus. McGonigle has co-authored a textbook, Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge, which was published by Jones and Bartlett in August of 2009. She has over 100 publications, 30 funded grants and 29 international and national presentations.

Mahan has over six years’ experience in the design, development, implementation and assessment of online and blended learning courses for traditional, graduate and adult students. Her specific areas of interest include creating strategies for instructor-to-student and student-to-student interactions in online, large-enrollment courses; integrating Web 2.0 technologies to increase online students’ engagement and encourage creativity; and training faculty in the use of educational technologies and assisting them in managing their workload as online instructors.

Bixler has over 25 years of experience in the instructional design field. In his current position, he is working with the latest educational technologies and learning theories to produce learner-centered active and collaborative learning environments. He works with peers from across Penn State and other universities to discuss common issues and provide advice and guidance on a wide range of issues. He is responsible for a variety of other tasks, including instructional design; project coordination and management; faculty and staff development; curriculum development; educational technology training and assistance; formative and summative evaluation of projects; and Internet expertise. Bixler is actively investigating the use of games, simulations, and virtual worlds for educational purposes. He is in charge of the Educational Gaming Commons (see to support collaboration and initiatives in these areas throughout Penn State.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015