It’s Family Feud! What do you know about Quality Online Instruction & Positive Student Experience?

Concurrent Session 6
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

In this session, we will reveal the building blocks of a Model of Quality Online Instruction, optimized for positive student experiences. Come test your knowledge and assess your own methods in this interactive session! Leave with a diagnostic tool to evaluate quality online learning.


Lisa LoBasso currently serves as the Director of Graduate Academic and Student Services at the University of Scranton. She holds a doctoral degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Administration and Leadership Studies. Her experiences include 14 years in higher education and 10 years in elementary public education, working in a variety of settings with diverse student populations. Dr. LoBasso also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Scranton.
Dr. Wilson has served individuals, families and communities affected by trauma and issues of social justice for over 20 years. Her early work began in a grassroots organization in California serving homeless families, followed by many years in child welfare, foster care, and clinical outpatient services treating sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, and a range of mental health conditions. Dr. Wilson approaches social work practice from a holistic perspective, with an emphasis on therapeutic trust and relationship building, trauma informed care, as well as practitioner self care and well being. She facilitates trainings and support groups for helping professionals, students, interns and volunteers in the field. Dr. Wilson has written several successful grants to fund HIV/AIDS prevention and outreach, homeless services, and programs for former foster youth; funded by agencies such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local Homeless Coalitions, city and county governments. She has several publications and has presented her work at national conferences. Dr. Wilson has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in academic settings, both on ground and online for 13 years. In that time, she has also supervised students placed in internship placements and in training as child welfare professionals. As an educator, Dr. Wilson aims to foster a student-centered approach to learning, while integrating social work values, ethics, empathy and compassion. She encourages students to engage in self reflection, self care, stress management and mindfulness-based practices as part of professional and personal development on their paths to working as agents for social change. Jennifer Wilson is a Wiley Fellow.
Laurel has experience designing and evaluating digital learning environments for both children and adults. When creating media-rich environments, Laurel's main objective is to let the learning outcomes drive the technology decisions. Working in learning design combines two of Laurel's biggest passions: building things and teaching others. Laurel has been a builder and a tinkerer since she was a little kid; she spent so much of her free time as a child building toys, making up games, and working on craft projects. In addition, Laurel has worked in the field of education since she was a teenager, working as a tutor for elementary school children after school. In college she became fascinated with learning about how the brain works and her passion for learning about learning grew even deeper. Over the course of her career, Laurel has worked with learners of all ages, in both formal and non-formal settings. She's taught preschool and elementary school, she's developed and TA'ed graduate-level courses, she's led children's workshops in a museum, and she's even taught adult courses on how to knit and sew!

Extended Abstract

In online education, it can be difficult to know where to invest your time and energy to make the biggest impact on student satisfaction, success, and experience. In this presentation, we will reveal a new Model of Quality Online Instruction informed by the current state of the literature and expert consensus. This model highlights five levels to building quality in online courses. We will provide evidence to support the relationship between teaching presence, student satisfaction, engagement, and academic success.

The presentation will kick off with an affinity mapping exercise to activate attendees’ prior knowledge about what components of the online teaching and learning process have the biggest impact on student experience. Then, we’ll leverage the outcomes of the affinity map into a Family Feud-style game and we’ll close with a presentation of our model and the accompanying research. The takeaway for our attendees will be a simple diagnostic tool they can use to complete their own self-assessment on how they are applying key characteristics of instructor quality in their online teaching that will result in a positive student experience.

During the initial affinity mapping exercise, individuals will jot down characteristics of instructors and their teaching strategies that are most likely to positively impact the student experience. Then, small groups of 4-8 attendees will work together to review each other’s ideas, consolidate similar thinking, and rank the characteristics from highest to lowest impact. This ranked list will be what each team submits to the Family Feud round. Based on our research and the model of instructor quality we’ve developed, we have a list of the characteristics that have an impact on the student experience, and we’ll compare each group’s list to our master list in the style of Family Feud (e.g. teams get “points” for each item on their list that matches the master list).

After we have concluded our Family Feud comparison, we’ll spend a few minutes detailing the visual of our model and describing techniques that instructors can implement on each step of the model to “level up” their teaching practice. To help attendees internalize these techniques, we’ll ask for active participation. For example, we’ll provide one technique for social presence that reveals the instructor & their expertise like “providing just-in-time information about the course design and organization” and then ask attendees to do a quick brainstorm of 2-3 other things they can do in their own courses.

Finally, we’ll finish the presentation by handing out a diagnostic self-assessment tool we’ve developed to help instructors identify where they are on our pyramid model and where they can get the greatest impact from investing their time. The diagnostic tool will focus on continuous improvement with the idea that each term you can gradually add new techniques to your teaching practice to improve student satisfaction & engagement and academic success.