While Joanna Frageorgia, a student in Bryant’s Graduate Communication Program, no longer serves as a classroom teacher, her passion for education continues through her work as a public affairs and traffic safety education specialist for AAA Northeast.
As a graduate student concentrating in health communication, Frageorgia is evaluating an e-learning module, “Shifting Gears: The Blunt Truth about Marijuana and Driving,” to educate drivers of all ages about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. The module, created for AAA Northeast’s educational efforts, is posted on the organization’s website. Frageorgia, who oversaw its creation, wanted to formally evaluate whether the e-learning module produced knowledge change.
With several states – including Massachusetts – legalizing recreational marijuana use, and residents coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, the e-learning module is particularly timely.
“Faculty have given me great critical feedback that will help to ensure that the learning module ... will be as good as it possibly can be.”
The module was based on AAA’s in-school program created by Frageorgia and her boss to educate high school students who “asserted that marijuana impairment didn’t affect their driving abilities,” Frageorgia explains. “It was good for us as traffic safety specialists to confront that misperception.” She notes that the outreach program is showing success in changing teens’ perceptions.
An inspiring learning experience
Frageorgia is indebted to Bryant faculty and fellow graduate students for their generous knowledge sharing, guidance, and support. “Bryant has taught me so much about communication as well as forming and evaluating campaigns and programs.”
Associate Professor of Communication and Department Chair Kevin Pearce, Ph.D., helped Frageorgia understand how to evaluate the e-learning module’s results and tie them to communication theory. Assistant Professor of Communication Julie Volkman’s expertise also has been incredibly helpful. “I admire Professor Volkman’s mentoring and teaching. She makes every step to excellence achievable. She keeps standards high but achievable,” said Frageorgia.
“Faculty have given me great critical feedback that will help to ensure that the learning module, which incorporates a pre- and post-test survey, will be as good as it possibly can be.”
Fellow students, many of whom juggle full-time careers with graduate school, have enhanced Frageorgia’s Bryant experiences. “My peers are highly collaborative and supportive; we keep each other accountable as we get through the COVID challenge.”