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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

Learning Principles Guide Course Content

Translating Knowledge into Practice

​The Informatics Specialty Courses are built upon a learner centered model that incorporates the best practices of teaching and learning in an online environment. We believe that this model focuses on students and faculty learning from each other. The faculty serves as guides to facilitate your learning by creating a learning environment that allows you to interact with content, fellow learners, and with the faculty. We use four research based learning principles (extracted from The Case for Learner-Centered education in On Course Newsletter to foster learner centered education:
  1. Active Involvement - Learning becomes deeper when students are actively engaged and spend more time on higher level learning tasks.
  2. Social Integration - Learning is strengthened through peer and faculty interactions and collaborations.
  3. Self-Reflection - Learning is also strengthened by students through peer and faculty interactions and collaborations.
  4. Personal Validation - Learning is fostered when learners recieve recognition and feedback from both instructors and their peers.

Foundations of Health Care Informatics

The Foundation course is required for all graduate students. The course introduces the concepts and principles of informatics, including the data-information-knowledge-wisdom continuum, and examines the various health IT tools available. Learners are introduced to the Center Academic Electronic Record System, a web accessible fully functioning EHRs.

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Semantic Representation

This course introduces the student to the world of formalizing nursing phenomena to foster data management and retrieval. Students examine codification, classification systems, terminologies, reference terminologies, ontologies, and standards.


Decision Support & Data Management

This course provides students with a greater understanding of decision science and data management within the context of the Triple Aim (Improve Care, Improve Population Health, and Reduce Health Care Costs), as well as decision support tools, such as data mining, point of care alerts, surveillance tools, benchmarking, and dashboards. As one competency assessment, students create a dashboard for either a clinical or administrative decision support.

Human Computer Interaction Design Principles

By creating a prototype of a personal health record for a specific patient population, and participating in a usability study, learners put the concepts and theories of human computer interactions and usability into practice.

Database Management Systems

The Database Management Systems course provides opportunities for learners to not only understand the concepts and principles of databases but to access a scrubbed patient data set, design a patient registry and create SQL queries using open source software tools, including Firebird RDBMS, Flame Robin SQI, and iREPORT.


The E-Health course introduces learners to the use of digital tools that extend beyond the confines of a traditional healthcare system. By participating in journal club, creating evidence tables and designing a health campaign for consumers, students learn about the benefits and challenges associated with the use of digital tools such as telehealth, mobile health apps, social media, patient portals, personal health records, sensors, and smart devices.

IS System Life Cycle

This course provides an opportunity for learners to function as a project team through life cycle of a system from planning, analysis, design/selection, implementation, and evaluation by using web conferencing and collaborative tools and access to CU's Virtual Hospital/Clinic.

Knowledge Management Course

This course provides the last component of the Data-Information -Knowledge  (DIK) Continuum. Learners translate knowledge into practice by identifying a problem area, selecting a knowledge management solution and designing functional specifications.