Inter-role Conflicts in Online Graduate Education

Session Description
Students of online degree programs often face challenges of balancing work, family, and school. Research suggests that generally, when an individual experiences pressures from multiple domains (e.g. work and family), and the individual does not have the resources (e.g. time) to address all responsibilities, inter-role conflicts may emerge. Inter-role conflicts may lead to increased feelings of stress and can affect the person’s overall well-being (Hecht & McCarthy, 2010). Of the few studies that have explored school related conflict in higher education, Kremir (2015) found that inter-role conflicts, involving school-work, are associated with increased stress and burnout within graduate students.

Conflicts involving school, such as school-work conflicts and school-family conflicts are likely to be particularly relevant in graduate student populations. As an online educator working with graduate students, I will share anecdotal evidence supporting the relevance of such conflicts. I will discuss some of the challenges that I have observed with students as they worked to balance these competing responsibilities. I will also share best practices for helping students to cope with these challenges. Throughout this presentation, I will encourage strong audience participation to gain a deeper insight into how school related conflicts emerge and are addressed in online education.

Gabrielle Blackman
Gabrielle Blackman, Kaplan University, Remote, USA
Gabrielle Blackman earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. There, her research focused on leadership, teams, and training effectiveness. Her dissertation study focused on authentic leadership. While completing her graduate work, she engaged in research, consulting, and teaching. Upon earning her M.A., she taught part-time at George Mason University. After earning her doctorate, she moved on to Christopher Newport University. There, she taught undergraduate students in the Leadership and American Studies Department. In 2013, she started teaching in the Graduate School of Psychology at Purdue Global University, where she enjoys assisting adult learners in achieving their academic and professional goals. She has continued to engage in various research and consulting projects on a casual basis, throughout her career. At Purdue Global University, Dr. Blackman is a full-time instructor in the Graduate School of Psychology. She teaches graduate-level core courses in psychology, including Foundations of Professional Psychology; Advanced Research Methods; Testing, Measurement, and Assessment; and Life Span Development. She has earned numerous awards and nominations related to teaching effectiveness. She oversees four graduate-level courses in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, serving as a Course Leader. She is typically engaged in a variety of service activities at Purdue Global University.
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