How to Engage Students in Online Discussion

Howard Lake (cc)

Online business education is booming, but can virtual class discussion really take the place of face-to-face interaction? It can — and then some, according to an article published in the Journal of Management Education by Debra R. Comer and Janet A. Lenaghan, both of Hofstra University. The authors recently spoke with associate editor Kathy Lund Dean on the JME podcast about their paper, “Enhancing Discussions in the Asynchronous Online Classroom: The Lack of Face-to-Face Interaction Does Not Lessen the Lesson,” which offers a valuable tool that instructors can use to enhance students’ learning in an online course. Click here to play or download the podcast interview or subscribe on iTunes by following this link.

Debra R. Comer is a Professor of Management in the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. She received her B.A. with honors in psychology from Swarthmore College and her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Yale University. Her current research interests include ethical behavior in organizations, on-line learning, crisis management education, and the use of popular culture in management education.

Janet A. Lenaghan is an Associate Professor of Management in the Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University.  Janet has worked in high education for over two decades, serving as Director of Human Resources before joining the full-time faculty.  She is the recipient of the 2003 Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.  Her primary research interests are in the area of human resource management.  Janet received her doctorate degree from Pace University, a Master of Business Administration from Hofstra University and her undergraduate degree from Adelphi University.

Kathy Lund Dean holds the Board of Trustees Distinguished Chair in Leadership and Ethics at Gustavus Adolphus College She earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior and ethics from Saint Louis University. For fifteen years she has been active in both the OBTS Teaching Society for Management Educators, where she served on the Board, and the Academy of Management. Currently, she’s researching ethics and decision-making among entry-to-mid-level managers, how religious and spiritual disputes in the workplace get resolved, and student disengagement issues.

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