Empowerment Teaching: Creating “Mobile” Learning in an Online Experiential Learning Theory Environment

Session Description
American public universities are under increasing pressure to recruit, retain, and graduate students (Bowen, Chingos, & McPherson, 2011; DesJardins, Kim, & Rzonca, 2003; King, 1993; Spight, 2013). This presentation will show how an Honors online experiential learning theory writing intensive course coupled with Face-to-Face office hours and advising provides an effective and caring framework to implement an empowerment teaching and advising curriculum for students from diverse backgrounds. The embedded scaffolded and intentional caring and engaged pedagogy in this course supports and enhances critical thinking, academic capital, writing skill acquisition, emotional intelligence, and models information fluency. This builds on an information literacy learning cycle, thus providing the stepping stones for student success. In this course, using an empowered teaching and advising model, students connected with one another in an online environment, with hybrid elements, turned praxis into theory and back again in an iterative and sustainable life-cycle that has potential to be applied in many academic pathways, and beyond. Students were introduced to academic and life core resilience skills such as growth mindset (Dweck, 2014), “not yet but soon,” and scholarly performance based on an inside-out (Sinek, 2009) approach, which students have self-reported via survey has led to better college coping skills.
Siobhán Ní Dhonacha
Siobhán Ní Dhonacha, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, HI
Siobhán Ní Dhonacha is an Assistant Faculty Specialist for the Honors Program and Regents and Presidential Scholars, and a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Fellow. Indigenous Irish, Dr. Siobhán was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland.

Dr. Siobhán studied in New York and London, and then went on to earn a B.A. in Political Science and Politics of Theatre from Western Washington University, an M.F.A. in Theatre/Playwriting at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM), a PhD in Education from the College of Education at UHM with a focus on the Ethics of Care, Higher Education Policy/Philosophy, and Student Success Strategies, and a COLT Graduate Certificate in online learning and teaching from the UHM College of Education.

Teaching since 1995, Dr. Siobhán has worked with students in Washington State, New York, and Hawaiʻi, and at UH since 2009. Her teaching and research are focused on Empowerment Advising ©, experiential learning, resilience, critical thinking in the 21st Century, writing praxis, the philosophy and ethics of care in academic policy and praxis, high achieving students, mentoring as a tool for student success, under-represented student recruitment and retention, emotional intelligence, cognitive development, student persistence, diversity and equity, and actively supporting UH to be a Native Hawaiian place of learning through incorporating Aloha ʻĀina and Kapu Aloha through curriculum design and advising practice.

Session Type
45-Minute Interactive Session

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