Humanizing Online Learning

Humanizing online teaching and learning has been an organic outcome of my own online teaching. In 2003, when I started teaching online, my classes felt disconnected to me. I didn't know who my students were and I knew they didn't know me as a real person either. I knew that my personality and the ways I motivated my students in the face-to-face classroom had to become part of my online classes in order for them to be experiences I was proud of.  I did a lot of experimentation and collected a great deal of feedback from students over the years. I took what I learned and shared it as openly as and widely as possible. In the process, I began designing online faculty development programs to guide and support faculty to humanize their online classes.

Currently, there are three "Humanizing Online Learning" faculty development offerings in existence that I've developed. Each course is an iteration of the previous one. Both are actively facilitated, asynchronous online courses (they are not self-paced):

  • 2014 - 2-week online course at CSU Channel Islands through Teaching and Learning Innovations at CI. To my knowledge, this course is available to faculty of CSU Channel Islands. Please contact Jill Leafstedt for more information.
  • 2018 - 4-week online course offered through @ONE (Online Network of Educators), a project funded by the California Community College Chancellor's Office and is part of CVC-OEI. This course is offered seasonally and is available at a low cost to CA Community College faculty and may be downloaded from the Canvas Commons (search for CVC-OEI Adoptable).  The course is anchored in culturally responsive teaching and emphasizes the research that shows instructor-student interactions are integral to supporting the success of underserved online community colleges. Faculty gain knowledge of this research and have ample opportunities to experiment and develop videos to support their humanized online facilitation skills.
  • 2020 - 6-week Humanizing Online STEM Academy, an evolving program that is part of two California Education Learning Lab grants. Developed in collaboration with Mike Smedshammer and Kim Vincent-Layton. Available in the Canvas Commons (search for #HumanizingSTEM). For more info, visit the project site.