EKU instructor, Marci Robles believes in taking an active part in her student’s educational journey and providing a quality learning experience. She goes above and beyond to ensure her online students have opportunities to interact and engage with her. Robles’ enthusiasm for her field and personal attention to her students makes her a particular point of pride on EKU’s campuses, both in-person and virtual. We take great pride in offering the chance to get to know her a little better.
What brought you to EKU?
I came from the University of North Dakota after 13 years of teaching and being Department Chair of Information Systems and Business Education. The time was right, so I applied for several positions 21 years ago and chose EKU! I love it here!
Tell us a little about your work in your field.
I have taught managerial reports, professional communication, entrepreneurship, introduction to business, MBA business research, MBA strategic business communication. My consulting includes organizational communication for Kentucky State Law Enforcement’s Executive Development Academy and EKU’s Middle Management Leadership Excellence Institute, “train-the-trainer” workshops in critical thinking for University Training Consortium, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services. I have authored or co-authored over 48 journal articles/book chapters/peer-reviewed manuscripts and have presented papers at over 100 conferences nationally and internationally and have several refereed proceedings. I earned the Meritorious Research Award from the University of North Dakota’s College of Business and Public Administration in 2000 and serve as paper and textbook reviewer. My research interests/publications are in the use of technology in education, generational differences in communication, critical and creative thinking, storytelling for effective communication, soft (power) skills, and assessment of learning.
I have served as President, Vice President, Program Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Historian for the Association for Business Communication (ABC) International and Regional Boards (over 12 years). Receiving Outstanding Teacher Award from ABC in 2004, Spirit of ABC Award in 2011, and Business Communication Impact Award in 2018. I was also the President and Vice President for the Association for Research in Business Education for four years and was Journal Editor for the Association for Business Information System’s Journal for Research in Business Information Systems. Currently, I am co-editor for the National Business Education Yearbook on “Teaching After Covid or Other Disaster.” Originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota; I received my PhD from the University of North Dakota in 1996 and Post-Doctorate in 2011 from the University of Gainesville (yes, I’m a Gator).
What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?
In 2016, I won the Jack L. Dyer Outstanding Teacher Award given in the EKU College of Business. This award was very important to me as it was a direct result of teaching my EKU business students. I enjoy co-presenting and co-authoring with my graduate and undergraduate students. Involving them in the intellectual contribution process and have had them present at International, National, Regional, and State Conferences.
What is your approach to online teaching?
Engagement! Communicate with students constantly, simplify assignment directions, and have high expectations. I expect of students what they expect of me. I want students to know that I am here to help them learn, and I will do everything in my power to do so–as long as they want, try, and work hard to learn.
What tactics or approaches do you use to aid in your student’s success?
A weekly outline of assignments and due dates. Bonus points synchronized sessions (five opportunities of various dates/times) so that we can actually interact on Zoom and see that we are real people. Peer review, a lot of feedback, fairness, and forgiveness. Many videos and self-assessment options.
What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?
Convenience, flexibility, accessibility to resources at your fingertips. Quality and rigor of face-to-face, in-person classes.
What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)
As Assistant Dean and Chair, I teach one online course per semester. I continue to pursue my research in soft (power) skills, currently writing a follow-up to my 2012 publication using the same methods, 10 years later. I continue to attend professional academic conferences for professional development and present papers to my peers in the profession.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
Be persistent. You can do it. Looking back at working on both my Masters, Doctorate, and Post-Doctorate degrees, I had family, husband and three children, pregnant, then four children, divorce and single mom. I don’t know how I did it, but I did. You can get through this program. Talk to people. Seek out your professors, your cohort members, and your eCampus advisor. We are all here to help. Don’t go it alone. Ask. You can and will get this degree. It will make a difference in your life.
Interested in advancing your business career?
Earn your bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for over 15 years. Our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.
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