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Trowbridge Challenges Communication Educators to Embrace the Shift

kevin_trowbridgeIn a workshop for the Tennessee Communication Association (TCA), Dr. Kevin S. Trowbridge, assistant professor of public relations, challenged attendees to use social media as a tool to engage students in the classroom and beyond.

The presentation was part of a two-day event held Sept. 13-14, at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Students and faculty from 16 colleges and universities across the state participated in the annual conference. This year’s conference theme was “Student Centered Ideas.”

“With increasing demands for post-secondary institutions to deliver the highest quality educational experience in the most efficient and least expensive way, the concept of ‘student-centeredness’ can be misconstrued as a trend that perpetuates a simple consumer mentality toward higher education,” Trowbridge said. “However, as faculty, we must break this misconception and remember that being student-centered is central to our calling as educators.”

The presentation suggested how new technologies have promoted a shift of expectations for engagement for individuals and organizations, including colleges and universities. With an increasing array of social media tools, educators can engage their students in learning through platforms with which digital natives are most regularly engaged, Trowbridge explained.

For nearly 10 years Trowbridge has been studying the effects of social media on the ways individuals communicate with one another as well as with organizations.

In another session at the conference, Trowbridge and Dr. Christie Kleinmann, associate professor of communication arts at Lee University, offered best practices for using client-based. The title of their presentation was “Designing the Best for Both Worlds: Student-Centered Learning through Client-Based Service.”

The Tennessee Communication Association is a professional organization for communication scholars, faculty and students who seek to improve communication education and encourage communication research.