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Keeping it Real

4/19/2012-

by Jennifer Bunk

Jennifer BunkJennifer Bunk Discusses the Challenges of Teaching I-O Online

What’s the secret to teaching industrial-organizational psychology online? According to SIOP blogger Jennifer Bunk, the secret is “keeping it real.”

In her recent blog post for the SIOP Exchange, Bunk discusses the challenges and unique circumstances she encounters teaching I-O courses over the internet—as well as the best practices and helpful advice she has encountered from her colleagues.

“When I first started telling my academic colleagues that I was going to be designing an online introductory I-O course, it was met with mixed reactions,” she explains in her post. “Some were enthusiastic. Some were skeptical. The best piece of advice that I received was to find a way to mimic a regular course by incorporating activities that expose students to the applied practices and ideas that make I-O such an exciting field. Without this, the course would become a dry, tedious exercise that would simply involve reading and taking quizzes. Thus, ‘keep it real.’”

Bunk explains that it can be difficult to engage students over the Internet, but she goes on to discusses numerous strategies she has used with success.

“The definition of ‘keep it real’ can be expanded to include not only being true to yourself but also, in the case of teaching, being true to your discipline,” she says. “This is a challenging task even when your students are physically in the same room – especially because, mentally, they may be somewhere else. I have tried a variety of activities from the more elaborate (e.g., performance appraisal critiques, which can take up a whole class, where students need to work in groups to appraise a performance evaluation form and do a formal presentation) to simple group brainstorms (‘Take 5 minutes to talk about the pros and cons of interviews as a selection tool.’) Students typically like these kinds of activities because it keeps them engaged and they get to think about real-world applications.”

Continue reading the entire first post by SIOP blogger Jennifer Bunk here and post your reactions and comments to the Exchange today.

Check back to the Exchange weekly for new posts from SIOP’s bloggers!

About SIOP’s Bloggers

SIOP’s bloggers have been posting since late 2011. This group of members serves as opinion leaders and conversation starters. They contribute regularly to the content of the Exchange on various topics related to the field of I-O psychology, discussing topics as diverse as innovation in organizations, employee well-being, leadership development, legal issues, education and training of students, I-O and sustainability, selection and assessment, entrepreneurship, groups and teams, and women in the workplace.

The SIOP blogger crew is also a diverse one, with Members, Student Affiliates, and Associates from science and practice, working in organizations across the country. For a complete list of SIOP bloggers, visit the blogger profile page on the SIOP Exchange here.

If you have any questions about the SIOP Exchange, please contact the SIOP Electronic Communications Committee Chair Zack Horn at zhorn@aptima.com. For technical questions, contact Stephany Schings Below at sbelow@siop.org. For more information about contributor guidelines, view the Exchange post policy here.