Building rapport with your students is one of the initial steps of effective instructors. Do you recall how your college instructors built rapport with you in the classroom? Maybe you
Building rapport with your students is one of the initial steps of effective instructors. Do you recall how your college instructors built rapport with you in the classroom? Maybe your instructors initiated the process of building rapport with class introductions. How might an instructor’s approach differ in the online classroom? How might instructors continue to build rapport while responding to some students’ tendency to share inappropriate information online? Whether online or in-person, these initial interactions are just as helpful to college instructors as they are to students. As the instructor, your first interaction with students sets the tone for your classroom environment. What type of environment do you want to create in your class? Will it be safe and nurturing, formal and professional, or maybe a different description comes to mind for you? How might you honor that environment when responding to students?
Part 1: Building Rapport Through Class Introductions
For Part 1 of this Assignment, review and study this week’s Learning Resources. Consider how your introduction might build rapport with students in your own psychology course. Then think about the value of first impressions and their impact on student perception of instructors, particularly with respect to class introductions. Finally, reflect on how your introduction is one of many strategies for initiating online student engagement.
Assignment (1–2 pages, APA format where appropriate)
Submit an introduction of yourself to your online psychology class. Your introduction should include the following:
- A brief description of your educational/professional background
- A brief description of your geographic origin, personal interests, and/or hobbies
- A brief explanation of the goals and expectations for the course
- A brief statement to encourage students to respond with their own introductions
- A brief conclusion to your introduction that includes the following question to your students: What do you think of when you hear the word “psychology”?
In a separate paragraph from your introduction, include the following:
- An explanation of the type of environment you are trying to create in your classroom and how your introduction fosters that environment.
Part 2: Responding to Student Disclosure
For Part 2 of this Assignment, review and study this week’s Learning Resources. Imagine you are an online instructor of an introductory psychology class, and your students had two assignments this week: (1) to introduce themselves in the informal classroom meeting area and (2) to describe what they think when they hear the word “psychology.” Then read the message one of your students, Carlos James, posted, introducing himself to the class, which is shown below. Reflect on how you might respond to the introduction.
Carlos: Hi everyone, my name is Carlos James and I live in Chicago, Illinois. I am a psychology major and this is my first class. I am so excited! I was diagnosed as bipolar several years ago and spent some time in a mental hospital, but now it is under control with meds and I feel great! I have always wanted to study more about psychology and understand myself better. My wife, Elena, and I have 3 children (Marcos, Marta, and Carlos, Jr.) and are really happy together, she is a wonderful wife, mother, and lover! I am looking forward to talking to you all!
When I think of psychology, I remember my time in the hospital. I was in so much pain, I kept going from bouncing off the walls to a deep dark depression and the psychologist really helped me. When I was in the hospital, my wife left me and took the kids, it was months before they returned home. I think of psychology as a way to help people in mental pain. I remember once, before I started on my meds when I was arrested for running around my neighborhood naked. Now, I am embarrassed about that time but then it seemed like a logical thing to do. Now I am doing better and I can't wait to get off the meds!
Assignment (2 pages, APA-format where appropriate)
Beginning on a separate page within the same Word document as Part 1 of this Assignment, indicate whether your response to Carlos is a private e-mail or a group reply to his original post; if you choose to respond to Carlos by e-mail, include a response that you would post in the discussion that the rest of the class would see. Be sure to copy Carlos’s post into your paper when responding to it and address the following:
- Provide examples for anything you feel is inappropriate, and provide a rationale for your examples.
- How might you respond to Carlos’ inappropriate remarks without destroying any rapport you have built?
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