Online Teaching For The Whole student: An Interactive Workshop

  • Cindy Parker George Mason University
  • Laura D'Antonio George Washington University
  • Yvonne Demory George Mason University
  • Katherine Rosenbusch George Mason University
  • Ala Showers George Mason University


Location: JC Room F

Online teaching presents unique challenges and opportunities for teaching the whole student, especially in asynchronous courses. The lack of face time between students and instructor and the learner-driven nature of online education make it difficult for online educators to build community and connection with â and between â students. However, the flexibility of online learning also creates opportunity for meeting the needs of students and building diverse learning experiences. This interactive mini-workshop will bring together four online educators for the School of Business who will share course design principles, assessments, and learning activities that are centered around the four subthemes of teaching the whole student: Civil Communication and Creating Community, School +, Reducing Barriers to Access, and Self-reflection: Exploration and Self-Discovery. Weâll discuss how we help to build a feeling of community among learners, allow students to incorporate life experiences into their learning, improve accessibility to learning content, and provide opportunities for reflection. After hearing from members of the panel, participants will form small groups, centered around each subtheme/topic. In small groups, participants will hare how they are addressing the subtheme in their own pedagogy, seek advice from group members on a challenge they are facing, or brainstorm ideas for how to better implement the subtheme in their own pedagogy. Participants can rotate among groups through the session. The session will conclude with a summary of key points discussed in each small group. Each panel member will address a separate subtheme of "Teaching the Whole Student," as it applies to online teaching. We will form four subgroups, one for each subtheme, to have focused discussions with participants. The members of the proposed panel have completed the SOUPR course development program and are currently teaching online courses. Individual topics include:

Breakout Group 1 - Civil Communication and Creating Community Creating community in an online course requires deliberate, consistent, and relentless attention. This subgroup will discuss community-building learning techniques such as discussion boards, weekly video announcements, crowd-sourced notes and study-guides, wikis and group projects. Community building, while challenging in the online environment, helps retention, reduces isolation, improves student success and is well worth the effort.

Breakout Group 2  Schools + This subgroup will share strategies for acknowledging and incorporating the lives of students into our online course, such as course pacing, weekend due dates, and providing generous windows for assignment completion. We'll also address how faculty can leverage students' vast experiences into the online classroom. Blackboard group or class discussions can be used effectively for sharing life experiences and integrating those experiences into course content.

Breakout Group 3 - Reducing Barriers to Access While online education reduces many barriers to accessing education, it also presents educators with unique challenges with respect to reaching our students and ensuring they are actively involved and mastering learning objectives. This subgroup will discuss techniques used for ensuring the logical organization of an online course, best practices related to addressing student questions and communicating support resources (both for course success and their overall Mason experience), and guidelines for ensuring that course materials are accessible to users (with a special emphasis on disability and financial considerations).

Author Biographies

Cindy Parker, George Mason University

Cindy Parker is a Term Assistant Professor of Management and Dean's Teaching Faculty Fellow in the School of Business at George Mason University. She teaches human capital courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs, in both face-to-face and online formats.

Laura D'Antonio, George Washington University

Laura D'Antonio, Assistant Professor and Dean's Teaching Faculty Fellow, joined the George Mason University School of Business in the Foundations Area in 2016. She teaches Business in Society and the Global Environment of Business courses, including sections with an embedded travel abroad component.

Yvonne Demory, George Mason University

Yvonne Demory is an Assistant Professor and Dean's Teaching Faculty Fellow at George Mason University's School of Business. She teaches Legal Environment of Business and Commercial Law in both face-to-face and online formats.

Katherine Rosenbusch, George Mason University

Katie Rosenbusch is an Assistant Professor and Dean's Teaching Faculty Fellow in the George Mason University School of Business. She teaches Principles of Management, Global Residency, and Cross Cultural Management courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Ala Showers, George Mason University

Ala Showers is an Instructional Designer in the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. Her research interests include media design, technology for second language acquisition, brain-based learning and student engagement in online environments.

11:20am-12:00pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables