Faculty and Learner Engagement: Using Collaborative and Innovative Conferencing Tools and Strategies in Online Learning

Concurrent Session 3

Brief Abstract

In an online environment, communication and keeping learners engaged, may be more challenging than in a physical face-to-face environment. To be successful, educators need to use innovative and collaborative conferencing tools and strategies to keep their learners engaged. By doing so, educators can provide learners with valuable and meaningful learning.


Lisa M. Kangas, Ph.D. has more than 20 years of business experience and 12 years of experience in higher education in various leadership roles. She is futurist, social change agent, and passionate about innovation, collaboration, and lifelong learning. Dr. Kangas currently serves on Walden's Innovation Advisory Council and Social Change Advisory Council, as well as several other committees. As a higher education advocate she strives to improve the quality of education. She has extensive experience in higher education and business, and implication for social change and expertise in emerging technologies and innovations, collaboration, leadership, and social change. She is a consultant, co-author of several books, presents frequently at conferences, and has published in numerous journals. Her dissertation was also honored in ProQuest’s top 10 best sellers list. She joined Walden in 2011 to work with faculty and students as a faculty consultant in the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program, and currently serves as a lead faculty and teaches Strategic Management and Innovation, Change Management, Innovation Management, and Leadership courses, doctoral mentor, and teaches at residencies and intensives.
Dr. Gwendolyn C. Dooley, a native of Brooksville, MS, but currently resides in Jackson, MS. Gwen completed high school at Noxubee County High School in Macon, MS; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Office Administration and Master of Public Policy and Administration Degree at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. The Doctorate in Organizational Leaderships was completed at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is currently completing a second Doctorate in Business Administration at Walden University in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Dooley is a contributing faculty for Walden University in the Doctor of Business Administration program. More than 27 years of work experience include working at Jackson State University and Alcorn State University as the Director of Academic Programs and the Assistant Director for Honors College, respectively. She is a member of the Association of Continuing Higher Education, Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Dooley serves on the board of Autism MS .

Extended Abstract

Best practices that faculty use to enhance collaboration and engagement in an online learning environment with their learners may include a variety of conferencing tools. The purpose of this session will be to share and discuss successful innovative and collaborative conferencing tool strategies with participants from our research findings. Our findings indicated that a variety of conferencing tools were used to strengthen the engagement and collaboration by faculty with thier learners and that these conferencing tools enhanced the value of teaching, mentoring, and learning with their learners. 

Our research method included a mixed method from a variety of data collected from a faculty survey, student interviews, and documentation review. The population in our study included doctoral faculty that facilitate courses and mentor doctoral learners with their research studies. The ability to enrich the learner and instructor experience and collect data from these reseach techniques about conferencing tools and strategies used by adult educators provided findings that can be used to improve communication and autonomy in a variety of ways. Some of these ways include: one-on-one meetings when mentoring learners, small group meetings, and for oral defense presentations.

The collaboration leader action model (CLAM) in congruence with data collected from a survey and interviews, provided findings and results about online conferencing tools when teaching, mentoring, and learning from learners in a doctoral business program. This session will include discussion about innovative and collaborative conferencing tools in the online learning environment, as well as share survey results from faculty about conferencing tools, which conferencing tools are being used, and how they are being used to enhance one-on-one meetings, mentoring collaborations, small group meetings, and oral defense presentations. The purpose of this session is to share and discuss best practices about innovative and collaborative conferencing tools and strategies used by faculty to engage their students in the online learning environment. We look forward to having a thought provoking session!