Building Community: Creating Your Hot Spot for Communication in a Fully Online Graduate MBA Program

Concurrent Session 9

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Effective communication is crucial to the success of your online program.  Creating your "Hot Spot" of communication and networking  is the key to a succesful online MBA program.  We will showcase  "The Bear's Den", created thru CANVAS,  as our hub of communication and information for our four year old fully online program. 



I am Mary Reinhardt and serve as the Associate Director of the Online MBA program at Baylor University. During my twenty six years in Student development at Baylor, I have had the privileged of serving both undergraduate and graduate students as well as transfer students who were making decisions on where to complete their degree. Enjoying the many opportunities to get to know the students I work with on not only a professional level but a personal level have been highlights of my career. Offering encouragement and guidance when needed and celebrating the many accomplishments during their time at Baylor have filled my days. Baylor gave me the opportunity to complete both my undergraduate degree at Baylor and my online graduate degree from Kansas State while working full time. Many doors have opened that have allowed me to explore new opportunities and challenges like being a part of the largest Online program at Baylor. I will be completing the Institute for Engaged/Emerging Leadership in Online Learning sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium and hosted by Penn State this week. When not working, I enjoy time with my husband, two sons and daughter-in-laws and most importantly, our five grandchildren. Serving in our church and Baylor sports rank very high on my extracurricular activity list.

Extended Abstract

After attending the conference the last two years, the same question was continually being asked  - "How do you communicate with your students?"   The audience would say thru their LMS but never have examples to show.  Last summer we created "The Bear's Den" as our communcation hub and want to show how we use it on a daily basis to create community within our fully online MBA program.   We will also show how our new students begin networking before ever enrolling in class thru the Online Orienation course and Discussion  Boards with current students.  We are continually expanding The Bear's Den and want to show others how our students have benefitted from this resource.  Examples of how our students interact and network with each other as well as staff will be showcased. 

We feel this tool can be used by many programs who are limited with staff just as we are.  Sharing proven ideas is one of the greatest benefits in attending the conference and we feel there is a need for sharing this tool with others.