Session 4

Facilitating Student Engagement in Online Learning Environments
Presented by Mary Slade

Perhaps the greatest concern of the faculty in the online environment is whether or not students will be engaged with one another, the instructor, and most importantly, the course content. This may even give critics concern to doubt the validity of the online platform. However, student engagement can meet if not exceed our expectations of a face to face course using the online platform. This presentation will discuss how traditional small group work and that specific to online environments can be used in online and hybrid coursework. Specific strategies and activities will be introduced. The presenter will model the use of such in her own course. In particular, Bb functions will be utilized to demonstrate the promotion of student engagement.

Dr. Mary Slade is a Professor in the Department of Exceptional Education, where she directs the online gifted education program at James Madison University.  Mary teaches courses in gifted education, educational foundations, exceptional education, and civic engagement.  Dr. Slade served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, and won the Early Leader Award from that organization in 1997.   Mary’s current scholarship includes professional development, advanced studies, differentiation, consultation and collaboration, and web-based distribution of personnel preparation.

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