Interview with Dr. Marilyn Carroll
In her newest book, “Diary of an Online Professor,” Dr. Marilyn Carroll has cracked the code on how to make online classrooms more engaged, successful, and fun. Marilyn’s online classes have a stunning engagement level of 80%, and her pass rate is 99%.
Why do adults and children love Marilyn’s classes? It’s called “entertainment.” Marilyn Carroll brings her savvy both as a college business professor teaching adults, and as a grandmother teaching her 7-year-old, to the zombie world of Zoom classes, and rocks her results.
For the past 11 years, Marilyn Carroll has been a college business professor. In addition to her public speaking and other community efforts, she has been actively involved in UWGA, SMU Disruptive Leadership Board, and Georgia CASA. As well as “Diary of an Online Professor,” she is also the author of “Disruptive Leadership,” “Antidotal Poetry for Career and Personal Success,” and “Reflexivity and Positivity: Me, I Love You, Professional Freedom in the Midst of Chaos.”
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to writing your book "Diary Of An Online Professor: In A World Of Fuzzy Logic?"
I am a college business professor, a training and development professional, a researcher, writer, mother of a college student, grandmother of a child in elementary school, and a college student myself. I am the picture of the individual in search and need of education that speaks to me and my needs and goals. With so many competing priorities in our daily life as we witness during the pandemic and the need to acquire relevant knowledge and skills during times of uncertainty continuously, many people are like me in need of education and educators who can meet me where I am. Education that can help me achieve my educational and training goals. Someone who understands it's about me (student-centered) and not about the teacher ( teacher center). A new day and new times call for new models and methods. This book provides the secret sauce to achieving that.
At the start of the Pandemic, March 2020, I was involved in three events:
1. Teaching Online
2. Completing Research on the use of technology in education
3. Working on a proposal for Dallas Independent School District on Diversity
There was a lot of what I call Fuzzy Logic happening surrounding all three. To put some controls in place, I took a page from research. I decided to write a daily diary that shares my life, experiences, and outcomes of the magic formula that kept my students engaged and striving for success even through a pandemic, racial unrest, working from home, school from home with limited access to the world as we once knew it. So we were all experiencing moments of fuzzy logic. Writing a Diary became my therapy for coping with the daily grind of living in a world of Masks On/Masks Off.
Can you briefly describe the premise of the book?
Diary provides a revealing day-to-day account of my life as an instructor, student, and professional trainer. Working with students through an online classroom, zoom meetings, and one-on-one conference calls to educate, motivate and inspire learning and living. The global pandemic complicated matters, creating a new reality in which online learning and classrooms became a solution. Educational institutions worldwide had to reimagine teaching models and develop plans that teach students via distance learning and schooling from home. Over the last decade, the online model has evolved based on student and environmental needs. Instructors face challenges achieving success with online student engagement, student satisfaction, community, and authentic learning that benefits economic environments.
What initially inspired you to write it?
I decided to turn the diary into a piece of art to share with the world that online and in-person student engagement is important for achieving students' goals. Whether it is a pandemic or racial inequality in the classroom online and in-person. There are ways for everyone to achieve the educational outcomes they want to achieve. I did it even against the odds. The missing link was in the secret sauce. Most importantly, my approach to teaching is to make it engaging, interactive, and packaging content with knowledge, wisdom yet ensuring an entertaining experience. Make it applicable to real-life scenarios.
This book seems perfectly timed for our pandemic and post-pandemic lives. Had you planned on writing it before the virus struck?
No, I had not planned to write it before the pandemic. However, the pandemic became the basis for launching a tool that could help many, whether in the K-12, college, work, or other situations, evolving, educating others, and achieving true engagement, outcomes, and lasting, rewarding, and memorable experiences for the learner.
Apart from teaching professionals, who else would you like this book to reach?
Anyone seeking an education, teachers, trainers, or individuals in the business of education. I see this book helping to open their eyes and become a tool that they go to often when they find they are searching for the why and how to get students engaged, learn, and apply what they are learning in their day-to-day lives.
Writing is always a journey. What surprised you most about this journey?
Yes, writing is a journey, and it has definitely been that for me. I hated writing until I started the Ph.D. program and had to write. I was horrible at writing and often made lots of mistakes. I still make mistakes, but I understand that the knowledge I have been blessed with must be shared; therefore, my communication methods effectively involved writing and speaking. I got over the speaking uneasiness next step involved writing for documentation.
What is the main message you hope people take away from your book?
Teaching models that develop student’s critical thinking skills while increasing student engagement, student satisfaction while building an authentic learning community even in a world gone whacky with fuzzy logic.
My secret sauce to teaching is to make it engaging, interactive, and to package the educational experience for students with knowledge and wisdom, but make it entertaining. The secret sauce has several ingredients:
3. An unforgettable experience
4.Make it applicable to real-life scenarios
5.Fill it with inspirational messages of hope, gratitude, and resilience
The Sauce combined with the approach makes for outcomes for students, learners, and organizations that shown to provide 80-90 percent engagement and completion outcomes while building critical thinking skills.
Are you working on any other books?
Yes, two books;
Spiritual Bootcamp, “Life and the Holy Spirit and
365 Inspirations “Daily Moments of Embracing Life and Living”
For more information on Marilyn please visit: https://leap-seven-publishing.myshopify.com/products/diary-of-an-online-professor-in-a-world-of-fuzzy-logic