Pamela Jeffries, professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, has been named the university's first vice provost for digital initiatives, Provost Robert C. Lieberman announced in a message sent Oct. 17 to faculty, staff, and students.
Jeffries, nationally known for her research and work developing simulations and online teaching and learning, will lead the university's efforts to effectively use digital technology in education, both online and in classrooms.
"It's critically important for the university to have someone in academic leadership to provide direction and coordination for our efforts to adopt and deploy digital educational technologies," says Lieberman. "Pam Jeffries is the right person to provide this leadership because of her outstanding record as a scholar and a teacher. She is a pioneer in both the use of digital technology in nursing education and research about how best to deploy digital technology in nursing education."
Jeffries will remain on the faculty at the School of Nursing, where she has enhanced digital learning efforts and was instrumental in the launch of the school's online programs and MOOCs (massive open online courses). The nursing school offers three online master's tracks, and faculty members are involved in the instruction for three MOOCs offered through Coursera.
Johns Hopkins was one of the earliest university partners of Coursera, which offers more than 450 MOOCs taught by instructors representing more than 90 colleges and universities.
"There are a lot of questions and challenges that face the university in this area," Lieberman says. "The use of MOOCs and our relationship with Coursera, how we build online courses and educational programs that are of the highest academic quality and advance the university's core academic mission of excellence in teaching and research, what services can the university provide to enable our schools and divisions to pursue their own digital education goals, and how can digital technology enhance and improve teaching on campus?"
Jeffries joined JHU in 2009 from Indiana University's nursing school. She is president-elect of the Society in Simulation and Healthcare and currently serves on the Institute of Medicine's Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education.