Creating Community: How PLCs Inspire Collaboration and Growth for Online Instructors and Students
Jason Waldow, Suzanne Gellens, Dena Aucoin
PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) encourage collaboration and enriched learning and research opportunities for "every imaginable combination of individuals with an interest in education" (Dufour, 2004). Learning how to create and properly govern a PLC can cultivate and strengthen leadership skills and create additional opportunities for online faculty to gain a stronger connection with the diverse online student population (Battersby, 2015). Virtual Professional Learning Communities encourage instructors to explore ideas and research that can be used pragmatically for their online student population. This presentation will explore current research on the effects that PLCs can have when properly organized. Presenters will offer ideas in which instructors can build PLCs, highlight examples of successful PLCs, and discuss ways to manage PLCs effectively in a virtual environment.
In the world, 151,600 people die each day (The Ecology Global Network, 2019). Thus, in almost every class there is likely to be at least one grieving student. It is important to remember how painful grief can be and the impact it can have on students keeping up with assignments, and their retention. A 2011 study asked about primary shocks that could cause a student to withdraw from college, and 18.4% indicated "death or illness of a family member" (Pleskac, Fandre, Mettitt, Schmitt and Oswald, 2011). When we receive a "death in the family" email, not knowing what to say can keep us from truly supporting a student. This presentation offers concrete advice on what to say and how to follow up with those who are recently bereaved, allowing more confidence that we are doing our best in supporting our students to stay in school and succeed.
Engaging Nontraditional Students for Success in the Long Run
Online students in higher education include a diversified group of individuals. Many are not typical first-time students entering college at the age of 18. On the contrary, these individuals are often going back to school after several years, working full-time jobs, serving in the military, raising a family, and trying to improve their circumstances by gaining a degree. These busy students often start off strong, but they seem to lose persistence as the weeks and the courses go on. The goal as online instructors is to create a strong connection with students and between students to promote a supportive online classroom atmosphere. Participants will gain specific student-centric activities and strategies to use in the online classroom to promote engagement and ease online apprehension which reinforces student retention impacting students overall educational goals.
This presentation will focus on the importance of inclusivity of diversity within the academic environment. The exploration and recognition of various diverse backgrounds including but not limited to educational, military, intellectual, cultural, socio economic and workforce diversity within the curriculum will demonstrate improved student interaction. The encouragement of research and scholarly teaching activities and their direct correlation towards student participation will be demonstrated using current events and culturally focused trends in the classroom. Additional support of industry changes to garner social cohesion in our global student population will also be explored.
Slacktivism: The Good, the Bad, and the Real World
The recent growth in social media technology is allowing online interaction at an unprecedented scale (Lee & Hsieh, 2013). While these technologies hold amazing potential for online activism, they also hold the potential for slacktivism. The United Nations has defined slacktivism as supporting a cause through simple measures, such as a Facebook "like", without true dedication to making a real change (2010).The communication skills that our students are encouraged to exercise as responsible digital citizens mirror that of leaders and professionals, online and offline. This session will engage in conversations about slacktivism and the positive potential of true engagement as part of an online community through critical thinking and problem-solving. We will explore how faculty can support online activism to influence positive civic actions and the role faculty play in this battle of activism vs. slacktivism to teach and guide students towards consistency and a moral balance in online activism.
Helping Online Students Get out of Their Own Way--Helping the Problematic Student
Dr. Rebecca McClay
Seemingly, many online students have either no or unrealistic expectations on what to expect from the online classroom. This causes issues for them in their overall success and in their perceptions of the programs which they are enrolled in. Assisting students in overcoming these issues, understanding their chosen degree tracks, and helping them to be better consumers of education are all important areas to consider, and ones which professors can assist in achieving. Bad attitudes stem out of perceived expectations. These attitudes not only affect the student themselves, but also the rest of the students in the course as well. Ideas and tools will be provided for professors to better understand these students and to work with them.
A positive student-faculty relationship supports successful classroom outcomes. Little is known, however, about the student-faculty relationship in competency-based education nursing programs via distance learning modalities. Relationship development requires authentic engagement over time. While CBE via distance learning offers freedom from the constraints of place and pace, it also presents challenges to relationship development between students and faculty members that must be better understood. Join us as we share qualitative analysis findings that answer the central question, "What are the relational factors that influence student-faculty connectedness in competency-based, distance education nursing programs?"
Walking in My Shoes: Communicating in a Multicultural, Diverse Environment
Shandrea P. Williams, Kathleen Bishop
Students are often faced with many challenges in life, such as a death in the family, a personal illness, or being called away for a military assignment. It is important for professors and administrators to recognize when these challenges occur and how to respond appropriately. Some situations may require empathy, sympathy, and/or compassion, and using the incorrect response and tone could result in unintended consequences. Case studies will be used to illustrate the principles required to communicate with empathy, sympathy, and compassion in a multicultural, diverse environment.
Escape: Improving the Student Experience and Increasing Engagement With Escape Rooms
Today's student uses technology in all facets of life. Why not use technology to improve the student experience with a suspenseful and fun activity? Enter escape rooms! Join us to experience an online escape room, to learn what the research says about escape rooms and how you can use them to benefit your students, and to learn how to create an escape room of your own. Research shows that escape rooms increase student engagement, stimulate curiosity, and have an overall positive impact on student success. This makes them especially beneficial for students who need motivation to participate. And as if that wasn't enough, an Escape Room using Google Forms is an excellent way to reinforce important course material in a fun and engaging way.
Humanities: Enhancing the Experience of Professional and Career Education
In the discussion of liberal arts, much has been posited regarding the value of a well-rounded education and the connection between liberal arts and developing critical thinking and communication skills. Liberal arts education also has the potential for increasing the experience of students pursuing degrees in non-liberal arts related fields with courses that are more enjoyable. This presentation will examine the results of student surveys at Purdue University Global and compare overall satisfaction of humanities courses with other subjects such as mathematics and science and review current literature on integrating humanities with science, technical, engineering, math, and medical fields.
Encouraging Connections: Using Pop Culture in the College Classroom
Increasingly, university and college classrooms are comprised of students who have "come of age" during the digital era, and are often quite literate in popular culture. While popular culture has been a topic of discussion in university classrooms for decades, it is also an invaluable tool to encourage connections to course content. Including pop culture connections relevant to the course content encourages critical thinking skills and empowers students. This presentation seeks to consider the significance of including pop culture in the college classroom, using examples from recent television programs, advertisements, film, and music, and how these can be applied in our classrooms. Using specific examples from two Humanities and Social Sciences courses, American Women and The Technological Revolution, this presentation will address successful application of pop culture selections in the Purdue Global classroom, and provide suggestions for how to incorporate pop culture as part of seminars and discussion posts.
Collaboration Through the Innovative Learning Technology Work Group
Emily Thompson, Kristin Early, Holli Vah Seliskar, and the ILT team
Purdue University Global has formed the Innovative Learning Technology [ILT] Work Group aimed at improving the University's learning technology resources for both professors and students. The purpose of the ILT is to maximize PG's use of Brightspace and relevant external tools to maximize the learning and teaching experience. The team is composed of faculty and staff across Purdue University Global. The ILT has created a Google+ community in order to promote collaboration, networking, and to house a Google form with the purpose of identifying faculty issues and concerns as it relates to the online classroom. Givens (2018) notes the importance of this kind of collaboration across departments to address complex issues and processes within the university. During this session, ILT members will describe the current priorities of the ILT group. Participants will be encouraged to share feedback on their experiences in Brightspace and ideas about how ILT can continue improving PG's use of the LMS.