Skip to main content

2018 Transformative Learning Conference

March 8–9, 2018

Oklahoma City, OK


To search by presenter, enter presenter name into Keyword field. Do not use the Person field to search by presenter for a session.

Social Interactions that Produce Deep Holistic Learning for Life Long Transformative Learning Experiences

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 11:30 AM–12:00 PM CST
Young Ballroom B

Begin with an outline and lecture social interactions and how they can be heightened through communication skills.

Each participant is given a handout that they can follow that advises where this takes places and how each participant can actively engage one another through holistic communication.

Social interaction activity – all participants are broken down into groups of four and can practice what they have learned.

Participants – interview and get to know each other; practice active listening which includes eye contact, minimal speaking by the interviewer, and ask any follow up questions.

Participants rotate within the group and become interviewer and interviewee, so everyone has a chance to experience both roles.

Participants share with the overall conference attendees what they have learned from deep meaningful holistic conversations with each other.

Closing comments and any questions on how it can be implemented in the classrooms.


Human beings are social creatures that need to explain things in detail to get the full effect of what they are feeling deep inside their inner soles.  Keane, T., Keane, W., and Blicblau (2016) showed how connecting with others and developing models of being socially responsible, are necessary skills for students to develop in higher education.  No matter the job or title, humans need to feel that their thoughts, ideas, and experiences are welcomed in the work environment.  However, the level of trust between social interactions in the workplace maybe higher in certain job capacities but the theory of being social with each other is still prevalent.  The need for deep meaningful conversations with co-workers in the work environment resonates a positive vibe throughout the workplace.  Getting to know your co-worker; what resonates with them, what their driving force is for coming to work daily, is imperative. 

Students in higher education must learn to communicate with their fellow classmates.  They need to have deep meaningful conversations and how to acquire communication skills that will allow them to be successful.  Lear, Hodge, and Schulz (2015) revealed in their study how employers rated listening as the most important communication skill they look for in employees.  Active listening is one of the most instrumental tools that can be taught to students before they enter the workforce.  Not speaking when having deep meaningful conversations and allowing the speaker to have one’s full attention with eye contact, reinforcement confirmations (yes, right, uh huh, ok) that the message is being received, and empathy for what one may be going through; are all part of active listening.  This form of communication is deep holistic learning that can help students learn how to build rapport with their fellow peers and set the stage for transformative lifelong learning.

Students in higher education need to learn how to actively communicate and engage with others.  They should feel that they can rely on their fellow peers after a meaningful engagement. Ross-Gordon, Gordon, Alston, Dawson, and Van Aacken (2015) discovered through the deployment of transformative learning, communication improved among participants along with being able to engage more with others.  This form of transformative learning maybe something that the students have never experienced due to technology taking over several venues of education delivery.  However, there is still hope.

The students can be realigned with their learning on how to communicate effectively with one another through a shift in their paradigm.  The paradigm shift allows students to reflect on what they have experienced with one another.  Ross-Gordon et al., (2015) noted how imperative reflection is regarding transformative learning.  Giving students time to do this is vital.  Follow up questions from the active listener allows both communicators to invoke intrinsic feelings from each other.  Both should walk away from the conversation with positive reinforcement of one another’s contributions that can be sustained for the overall journey.


Lear, J. L., Hodge, K. A., & Schulz, S. A. (2015). Talk to me!! Effective, efficient communication. The Journal of Research in Business Education, 57 (1), 64-77. Retrieved from

Keane, T., Keane, W. F., & Blicblau, A. S. (2016). Beyond traditional literacy: learning and transformative practices using ICT. Education and Information Technologies, 21 (4), 769-781. doi:

Ross-Gordon, J., Gordon, S., Alston, G., Dawson, K., & Van Aacken, C. (2015). Efforts to transform learning and learners: the first decade of an innovative doctoral program. Journal of Thought, 49 (1), 52-70,90-91. Retrieved from

Format of Presentation

30-Minute Roundtable Session

Conference Thread(s)

Communicating Transformative Learning

Primary Presenter

Tim Ellis, American College of Education

Secondary Presenters