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Virtual Corridors: Nurturing States of Mind in Online Spaces

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The physical separations inherent in online courses make it easy for participants in a course to develop states of mind that vary substantially. These differences may affect or disrupt communications (Richardson & Swan, 2003) among participants or create differences in expectations (Friend, 2014) for the course. In short, because those in an online course are infrequently working synchronously or in proximity, isolation permeates the experience (Eastmond, 1995; Turkle, 2011). However, such isolation flies in the face of Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory, which suggests that learning happens through group interactions.

This presentation addresses “the tension and transition between physical and felt states” in online courses by attending to the various states of mind involved in an online class. By attending to interpersonal needs of participants in an online course, instructors provide a nurturing virtual corridor that connects the content of the course with the lived experience of each participant. Three forms of connection make the virtual classroom more authentic: access (reducing mental and technological barriers to digital content), presence (bringing physical reality into the virtual experience), and compassion (attending to the emotional needs of participants). Each corridor journeys from the virtual state into the emotional, mental, and physical states participants inhabit.

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Virtual Corridors: Nurturing States of Mind in Online Spaces

  1. 1. VIRTUAL CORRIDORS: NURTURING STATES OF MIND IN ONLINE SPACES CHRIS FRIEND, SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY @CHRIS_FRIEND
  2. 2. PROBLEMS IN ONLINE PEDAGOGY DISRUPTED COMMUNICATION 
 (RICHARDSON & SWAN, 2003) DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS (FRIEND, 2014) SENSE OF ISOLATION (EASTMOND, 1995;TURKLE, 2011) BUT… SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY (BANDURA, 1977)
  3. 3. WE TEACH THE CONTENTSTUDENT
  4. 4. ISOLATION IN ONLINE ED ACCESS (TECHNOLOGICAL SPACE) PRESENCE (PHYSICAL SPACE) COMPASSION (EMOTIONAL SPACE)
  5. 5. “THERE IS AN ASPECT OF OUR VOCATION THAT IS SACRED.” —bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, p. 13
  6. 6. ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS GET THEM INTO THE CONTENT LET THEM SEE YOU AS A PERSON CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS, NOT YOUR EGO
  7. 7. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS ACCESS (HELP-DESK SKILLS) PRESENCE (INTERPERSONAL SKILLS) COMPASSION (CUSTOMER-SERVICE SKILLS)
  8. 8. “To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin.” —bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, p. 13
  9. 9. TO LEARN MORE FROM COMPOSITION:ASAO B. INOUE AS A PODCAST: HYBRIDPOD EP. 2 “COMPASSION”

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