The College of Education works with school districts across the state to help develop curriculum, provide training, conduct research and more.
Dr. Keith Thiede
“Our doctoral program attracts people with the intellectual curiosity and desire to find innovative ways to improve our education system. Our graduates have taken leadership positions and helped change education in Idaho and across
– Keith Thiede
Dr. Ann Butt, who spent 25 years as a practicing nurse, decided to pursue an education doctorate because she loves teaching and because she wanted to research and develop new ways of thinking about nursing education. In the field of nursing, learning is doing, and thanks to her innovative new work, nursing students can practice a number of complicated medical procedures in a safe environment.
While enrolled in the College of Education’s Ed.D. program, Butt worked with Anthony Ellertson in Boise State’s new gaming, interactive media and mobile technology program in the College of Innovation and Design. The team designed virtual reality gaming technology that gives nursing students practical experience with procedures they’ll encounter at hospitals across the country.
Butt served as a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing while earning her Ed.D.
“My research focused on the idea of deliberate practice – learning by actually doing,” she said. “Virtual reality gives students the chance to do procedures again and again.”
The technology, called Virtual Reality Nursing Simulation with Custom Haptic System for Patient Safety, aims to help students transition seamlessly from the classroom to the hospital floor.
Butt and her team won a national education award for their technology last fall from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. Ellertson said the project was an interdisciplinary success.
“Our project is a great example of how different disciplines can come together to push the boundaries of practice and knowledge,” he said.