NBC Learn Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight: Fostering an Online Learning Community
Meet Patricia Locke, an English Composition and Literature professor at East Mississippi Community College, where many of her courses are online. Locke explains that students who take online courses often have a very dry experience: “I’m trying my best to prevent that and NBC Learn has helped me tremendously.” Here are some of the innovative ways Locke gets her students engaged—both online and in the classroom:
Creating a Community for Online Learners: Each week, Locke posts a video for students to watch and discuss with their peers on the class discussion page. This is especially helpful in the online courses because it creates a community for students who don’t get to physically meet during the course of the semester.
“It is really refreshing for them to get to see a video especially in an online class because that’s the only way they are communicating with one another. These discussions have been a highlight in my courses. For my American Literature class I had them watch Evidence of Cannibalism at Jamestown Colony. They loved it because they were totally blown away by the idea that people would do that. Videos like this spark a great discussion and I really like to see how my students converse with each other.”
Creating Relevancy for Students: Locke feels students “relate to the NBC Learn videos better than the books.” For example, Locke shows a video interview of Mississippi writer John Grisham to illustrate a possible career path for her students.
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Reinforcing Teaching: “NBC Learn videos make it easier for my students to understand the important points I am trying to get across.” Locke uses a video about the publication of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to reiterate the importance of the literary piece during the American Revolution. She also shows a video about internet plagiarism to reinforce the topic when introducing the first research paper of the semester.