Tools & Tactics for Reimagining Higher Ed Teaching & Learning Online

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session Best in Track

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this interactive, moderator-led panel, university faculty will provide tools and tactics for transforming curricula and fostering engagement in the online learning environment.  Each panelist will showcase an innovative instructional design or educational technology then open the discussion to include audience members to share quick tips for creative online pedagogy.


Dr. Kim Weller is an associate professor in the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte, where she specializes in the area of organizational and strategic communication. Dr. Weller is passionate about studying the transformative effects of an unprecedented rate of marketplace and communication technology change on business strategy, operations, and culture, as well as on the lives of employees. She draws upon her 20+ years of experience as a professor and consultant to help organizations craft creative brands and stories. She also works with leaders to cultivate innovative learning experiences and entrepreneurial workplace cultures. She earned a BA from Vanderbilt University, a MA from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida—all in the field of communication.

Extended Abstract

As online learning continues to boom, Higher Ed faculty and administrators must continuously reimagine the learning experience and strive to inspire progressive pedagogy and the incorporation of engaging educational technology.  Join us for an interactive, moderator-led discussion with a panel of experienced university faculty to learn proven tools and tactics for transforming curricula and fostering engagement in the online learning environment.  Hear how an internship course was transformed online and learn how to incorporate tools like YouSeeU for student presentations and peer review and McGraw-Hill’s Connect platform with its user-friendly, interactive “LearnSmart” textbooks.  Listen to tips for fostering “social presence” and increased faculty-student interaction online.  Bring ideas to share, as the session will leave ample time for open discussion and will incorporate an online polling app so audience members can contribute additional tools and tactics for innovative online teaching and learning.  Let’s put our heads together to fill our tool box.


  • Present a brief case study to demonstrate how to redefine a traditionally on campus course into the online learning environment.
  • Provide proven tactics for incorporating specific educational technology platforms.
  • Share tips for creating instructor and student social presence in the online classroom.
  • Open the discussion to audience members to share additional ideas for innovative online pedagogy and tools.


Kimberly D. Weller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Knight School of Communication, Queens University of Charlotte (Moderator)

Social Presence: Increasing Faculty-student Interaction in the Online Environment

Many question whether it is possible to foster a sense place and community between faculty and students in the online environment.  Can we as faculty motivate students to learn and feel curious (and hopefully passionate) about course material when we’re not face-to-face and when we’re not online at the same time?  This presentation describes how social presence easily can be created with strategic, manageable “points of contact” between instructors and students.  Specific tactics for fostering an interactive and supportive environment online will be shared.


Bethany C. Goodier, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Charleston

High Impact, High Involvement: Taking the Internship Course Online for Maximum Engagement

Institutions of higher learning across the country recognize the need for high involvement, high impact learning opportunities integrating theory to practice.  These often take the form of internships, apprenticeships, service learning and capstone courses. One of the great challenges is balancing the need for integration in the field and creating a space to come together to discuss the disciplinary theories and concepts.  This presentation focuses on the transition of a “traditional” internship experience to an online program where interns use Google classroom to connect with one another and the instructor to offer social and instrumental support, engage in deep discussions about theory and practice, and prepare work products to facilitate their professional development and growth. 


Kathleen M. Golden, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Communication, Journalism, and Media, Edinboro University 

Using YouSeeU for Oral Presentations and Group Meetings

One element in online teaching that can be a challenge is speech presentations and group projects.  YouSeeU is a Cloud-based program that allows students to record presentations, add slides, and have peer reviews of their work.  Additionally, groups can be formed and hold Sync Meetings to prepare projects, record group presentations, and share documents throughout the process.  YouSeeU is FERPA compliant and has successfully been used in such courses as persuasion, public speaking, performance studies, small group, and interviewing.  The soft skills development so necessary for the workforce today are developed and reinforced with this learning tool.  It also allows for large traditional class sections to have oral presentations not easily accommodated during a semester. The tool will be demonstrated and survey data on its applications will be shared. 


Jason Zalinger, PhD, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, Mercy College
So Far, So Good: Using McGraw-Hill’s Connect and LearnSmart for The First Time

Mcgraw-Hill’s Connect platform is a remarkably robust online instructional platform. Their “LearnSmart” textbooks are more interactive and user-friendly than anything on the market, at least from what I have seen. LearnSmart essentially guides the student through the chapter. Halfway through my first semester using LearnSmart, I have had almost no major issues or confused students. Why is Connect/LearnSmart seemingly better than other online systems? How can we improve it? What are the best practices moving forward?