Integrating Academic & Social Spheres in an Online Environment – A New Approach to Promoting Student Achievement and Retention

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

Increasingly student learning needs to extend beyond the classroom.  Students are often emerging from high school without the active learning experiences that creates depth of understanding.  The ability to integrate academic and social spheres by leveraging an ecosystem that drives social engagement both in and outside the classroom can shape the student experience, drive engagement and improve retention.  In this session we’ll use Schoology’s next generation LMS as the backdrop to understanding how today’s students and faculty can come together in a highly engaging and immersive digital environment to connect, communicate, and collaborate.  


Robert leads Schoology’s Higher Education team and has been involved in ed tech since the late 1990s when he worked for one of the original course management system vendors. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he pursued a career in college admissions working at Boston University in several admissions/recruitment roles while pursuing his MEd. Today his passion is built around evangelizing new and better online teaching and learning models that take into account a changing higher education landscape, the needs of digital natives, and modern design principals. His presentation and speaking credits include Educause and Online Learning Consortium events (Sloan C) and Internet2.
Antoinette is the former assistant vice provost at Drexel University and the founder of Torres Consulting.

Extended Abstract


  1. Understand the benefits of academic and social integration in the teaching and learning process
  2. Gain perspective on the benefits of a social psychology approach to driving engagement and student success
  3. See why Schoology is becoming the platform of choice for many colleges and universities replacing traditional, course-centric learning management systems