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Friday, February 15, 2013

Needed: Black College Students Participants: Please Forward!

Dear student, if you identify as a Black college student (graduate, undergraduate, law, medicine, etc.,), I am currently collecting data for my dissertation, Culturally Validating Hardiness with Black College Students:  A Mixed Methods Study. Here is more information followed by the link to the survey...



Participants Needed for Hardiness Study

Phone: (636) 734-1301   


Dear College Student, 

Race-related stress is experienced every day by members in the Black community and can negatively impact one’s mental and physical health.  However, hardiness, the willingness to pursue foreseeable challenges and a buffer to stress-related illness, may serve to be a protective factor to this type of stress. Therefore, through the lens of Race-related stress, the purpose of this explanatory mixed methods study is to culturally validate and explain hardiness, a buffer to stress-related illness, with Black college students. 

I’m asking you to take 25-30 minutes to consider your experience of hardiness as a Black college student and respond to the Personal Views Survey III-R (PVS III-R; hardiness) and Prolonged Activation and Anticipatory Race-Related Stress Scale (PARS) items, as well as three comparison measures and some demographic questions about yourself. All questions will be completed in this online survey.

You are being asked to participate because of your experience as a Black college student attending a University and the race-related stress that is experienced every day in the Black community. Your participation is completely voluntary, and you may withdraw from this study at any time. 

Your responses will be kept anonymous andconfidential. Only I will have access to the raw data. Any hard copies of the data will be stored in a secure file cabinet, and electronic files will be encrypted. Results will be presented in aggregated form. Your name will not be connected with your responses, and the list of participants’ names will be destroyed.  In addition, you will be asked for permission to contact you for a follow-up interview in order to complete the qualitative portion of this study.

Some of the sample interview questions include:  (a) If any, what experiences are you committed to and willingly engage in?  (b) How much control do you feel you have in choosing your experiences? (c) If at all, how do you feel you are challenged, or learning, from your experiences?  (d) If any, describe foreseeable race-related experiences as a Black college student?    

The interviews will last between 60-90 minutes long and will remain confidential.  I will be the only person conducting interviews and transcribing them in order to de-identify any identifiable information.  We will be meeting on campus in a room that I have reserved, via phone, or Skype.  I am very flexible in finding a good time that works best for you and I.

If you have any questions regarding the study, please contact me via email at or by phone at 636-734-1301. Thank you!

If you have any questions about this study, you may contact: 

Jasmine Tilghman, M.Ed. 
Doctoral Candidate
Dept. of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri-Columbia

Bryana French, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor 
Dept. of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri-Columbia

Norman Gysbers, Ph.D
Curators Professor 
Dept. of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology
University of Missouri-Columbia

Questions concerning your rights as a participant in this research may be addressed to the Campus IRB via or by Phone: (573) 882-9585, 483 McReynolds, Columbia, MO 65211.


Jasmine Tilghman, M.Ed.

Doctoral Candidate | Counseling Psychology

BASICS Coordinator | Wellness Resource Center
Clinical Graduate Assistant | MU Counseling Center


Call for Papers: International Journal of Business and Social Science ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219- 6021 (Online)

Call for Papers

International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219- 6021 (Online)

International Journal of Business and Social Science (IJBSS) is a monthly peer reviewed journal published by Centre for Promoting Ideas (CPI), USA. It covers the areas of business and social science such as management, marketing, finance, economics, banking, accounting, human resources management, international business, hotel and tourism, entrepreneurship development, business ethics, international relations, law, development studies, population studies, history, journalism and mass communication, corporate governance, cross-cultural studies, public administration, psychology, sociology, women studies, social welfare, anthropology, linguistics, education and so on.

 IJBSS publishes original papers, review papers, conceptual framework, analytical and simulation models, case studies, empirical research, technical notes, and book reviews.

IJBSS is indexed with and included in Cabell, DOAJ, EBSCO, Ulrich’s ,ProQuest, IndexCopernicusInternational,Gale and Moreover the journal is under the indexing process with ISI, ERIC, Scopus, and Econlit.

IJBSS is inviting papers for Vol. 4 No. 2 which is scheduled to be published on March 20, 2013.

 Send your manuscript to the editor at, or

For more information, visit the official website of the journal 

With thanks,

Dr. Nozar Hashemzadeh

Editor, International Journal of Business and Social Science (IJBSS)


Professor, Department of Economics, Radford University, USA


Tomorrow's Professor: MOOCs: What Part of Learning Goes on Where and How?

MOOCs: What Part of Learning Goes on Where and How?

My university just announced that we have joined a MOOC (massive online open course, for those of you who like me didn?t know what the acronym stood for). Specifically we joined EDx. The decision was made at a level far above my pay grade. No one asked my opinion, which is actually a good thing because I?m not sure what my opinion is at this point.

There are lots of good, altruistic reasons for higher education to take this step. The intent is to make high level education available widely at a very low cost to the consumer (not to the institution, by the way). We?ve seen how freer access to more information has put the fear of Truth into even the most dictatorial systems to the extent that they attempt to shut it down as fast as they can and find that they can?t. I like that part. I also like the possibility that freer access to information that is based on solid research and realistic thinking might empower people to be less subject to thinking based on superstitions and misinformation (not that it?s working that well here). More selfishly, I like the idea that really good teachers could be challenged to change the way they think about learning and put their talents to work finding new ways to structure learning environments that can handle the ever-expanding population of students with widely varying backgrounds.

But I think there may be lots of good reasons for us to take this step more slowly. Despite all the miraculous claims of how transformative technology can be, right now there is still a lot of work to do. Even the very successful Khan Academy is founded on a lot of delivery of information, granted by a very gifted deliverer. But information is not synonymous with understanding, and delivery is not synonymous with education. So before I rush into volunteering to create courses for our new MOOC, I thought as an educational psychologist I might take a crack at analyzing what I know about learning that needs to be considered in the process. Here it goes.

Learning means focusing attention on the key concepts in a topic. OK, online learning can take advantage of the magic of visual images and presentation strategies to highlight key ideas and put them in a form that will not only draw learner attention but create memorable images that will be easy to recall later. Check!

Learning means making connections with a learner?s prior knowledge. Hmmm, maybe not so easy here. Given the size and diversity of the audience for a MOOC, being able to make those connections in the presentation itself is going to be difficult. It?s possible that one of the affordances of technology?gathering and analyzing data?might make this possible. After all Amazon can keep track of the books and other things I buy and point me toward other books of the same genre or that other people like me (i.e., those who bought the same things I bought) liked. So it might be possible in the future for an online course to analyze the kinds of interests and background I have (from a population perspective) and offer me links from the information of this course to other examples on the web that are related to it. I?m pretty sure that doesn?t exist in the programming yet, but it could. It might take a while to build up enough of a database (computers ARE good at collecting data) to make those predictions, but it?s possible.

Learning means actively processing the incoming information, digesting it, working with it, summarizing, paraphrasing, applying it. Yes, that works online, too, provided the information delivery part of the course leads to opportunities for the learners to try out the ideas in various ways. Most online classes have finally gotten around to realizing that just listening to information is not the process of learning. As a result most of them include activities for the learners. That?s good, but here?s the stumbling block.

Learning also requires that the learners? attempts receive guiding feedback. Uh-oh. That works pretty well in areas where there are ?correct? answers that can be evaluated readily by a computer, but there?s a ways to go before it works in more complex content that involves decisions and judgments. I actually ran into this problem recently in a project to provide instruction in teaching to adjunct faculty using an online program. It was easy to respond to questions that had simple answers, like who suggested the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (Lev Vygotsky). But evaluating the significance of the ZPD for teaching requires a whole other level of sophistication from the learners. Not so easy to anticipate all the things a learner might offer as important. This is not to say that it can?t be done, but rather that it can?t be done so easily YET. There are ways of providing electronic feedback to this kind of active learning. Our solution was to provide examples of answers that would fit the task and let the learners compare theirs. Not totally satisfying and sometimes not totally accurate.

There are some possibilities to consider when contemplating this issue of feedback. One is the ?community of learners? possibility. I think in the vernacular of MOOCs this would be called ?crowd sourcing.? It?s a more elaborate version of peer feedback, where the large group of learners respond to one another?s ideas in hopes of finding some kind of consensus. I think this probably works in an informed community of participants where there is a distribution of prior knowledge that can be drawn on. I think a community of novices still needs the guidance of a more informed individual or group of individuals.

Another possibility that has been around, but not perfected in education yet is artificial intelligence providing individual tutoring based on expert models and language matching. A new wrinkle that might make this more feasible is the idea of learning analytics and large databases. When this idea first came around, I was fascinated, but skeptical. I have seen too many really strange thought trails in my students writing to believe that even a computer could follow and guide them. But possibly the computer just needs more information to develop a case inventory of potential student ideas. I guess if they can create a computer that can win at Jeopardy, they can figure out how to interpret student responses to open ended questions. But I (and many other psychologists) believe that the essence of deep learning is in the interaction with others as we grapple with what we think we know versus what we really know. That?s the kind of online learning I?d like to see us build.

So am I going to try this thing? I?m conflicted. I see a lot of possibilities, but we are definitely not there yet. The technology world might be there, but those of us in education take longer to learn. Too busy giving guided feedback.