Building Resilience in Adult Online Students
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Student resilience has been shown to increase persistence in online academic programs. Resilience is a skill that can be developed (Tugade & Fredrickson, 2004). One method, the broaden-and-build theory, focuses on building positive thought repertoires in students to help them combat negative thought repertoires that can lead to downward spirals of negative emotions (Jackson, Firtko, & Edenborough, 2007). Thought repertoires are the connections our brain makes between events, actions, and emotions (Garland, Frederickson, Kring, Johnson, Meyer, & Penn, 2010). Creating more positive emotional connections between the student and the program in the online classroom can build positive thought repertoires, which can be used during times of adversity to combat stress (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001; Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005).