Fredonia panel presents at SUNY professional development conference

Roger Coda
Drs. Amanda Lohiser and Angela M. McGowan-Kirsch

Drs. Amanda Lohiser (left) and Angela M. McGowan-Kirsch.


Four Fredonia faculty and staff members gave a panel presentation, “Facilitating Peer and Instructor Interaction While Promoting Student Engagement,” at the virtual Conference on Instruction & Technology hosted by the SUNY Center for Professional Development and held on May 25-27.

The premise of the presentation by Assistant Professor of Communication Angela M. McGowan-Kirsch, Assistant Professor of Communication Amanda Lohiser, Professor of English Susan Spangler and Online Learning Coordinator Lisa Melohusky was faculty use of online tools during the shift to remote learning due to COVID-19 protocols.

Panelists discussed online tools that enabled instructors to gauge if students were understanding course content and promoted interactivity with the material. Engagement during synchronous meetings and with asynchronous course materials was challenging, the panelists explained. Students’ perceptions of the relevance of course content to their daily lives and current events is a key factor influencing their level engagement, the panelists indicated.

With this observation in mind, the three faculty panelists demonstrated how to adopt online tools, which are free at the entry level, into a remote, hybrid or face-to-face college course.

Following these demonstrations, panelists discussed how and why the platforms were selected and also shared student feedback and personal observations to offer an assessment of how peer and instructor interaction improved during their courses as a result of using each tool.

The panel’s presentation concluded with Ms. Melohusky discussing what should be considered when selecting tools for engagement.

“Working Together to Prepare All Students for a Lifetime of Learning” was the theme of the SUNY Center for Professional Development’s 29th annual conference.

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