In humanized online courses, instructor-student relationships are the connective tissue between students, engagement, and rigor.

Pacansky-Brock, Smedshammer, Vincent-Layton, 2020

In our post-COVID age, where online courses are the backbone of instruction, those who possess the knowledge and digital fluency to develop inclusive, asynchronous online learning experiences that are rich with human connection will be not only game-changers but life-changers, particularly for students who have been left out of the higher education paradigm. Equity-minded educators make relationships a priority but also understand that those relationships provide the foundation to challenge students to achieve their full academic capacity (Rendón, 1994; Wood, 2019; Hammond, 2014).

Improving the degree completion rates of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other students of color in higher education requires college professors to examine our processes and systems. We must identify barriers within our own mindsets and within our courses that prevent many students from having the opportunity to be successful. To move us towards this goal, faculty and those who support faculty need access to professional development that models what humanized online teaching and learning looks like and feels like. It is my hope that the resources provided on this website will be used by educators to learn and grow and by institutions to adopt and scale these ideas.

References

Hammond, Z. L. (2014). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic  Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Publishers.

Kleinfeld, J. (1975). Effective teachers of Eskimo and Indian students. School Review, 83, 301–344.

Pacansky-Brock, M., Smedshammer, M., & Vincent-Layton, K. (2020). Humanizing Online Teaching to Equitize Higher Education. Current Issues in Education21(2).

Rendón, L. I. (1994). Validating culturally diverse students: Toward a new model of learning and student development, Innovative Higher Education, 19 (1), 33-51.

Wood, J. L. (2019). Black Minds Matter: Realizing the Brilliance, Dignity, and Morality of Black males in Education. San Diego: Montezuma Publishing.