Brains with frog legs arranged in a row, in the colors of a rainbow, representing diverse ways of learning

Utah State University • October 3, 2019

Thank you for inviting me to Utah State University to speak about humanizing learning with digital tools. I hope my presentation resonated with you in some way and you continue to reflect on one key strategy or concept you might consider implementing into your class or your work.

Below you will find resources that were noted in my presentation, in addition to others that are relevant to the topic.  I welcome your comments and questions at the bottom of the page.



Online Articles, Reports & Podcast Episodes

The Hope Center, (2019). California Community Colleges #RealCollege Survey (PDF).

Center for Community College Student Engagement. (2019). A mind at work: Maximizing the relationship between mindset and student success. Austin, TX: The University of Texas at Austin, College of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, Program in Higher Education Leadership.

Community College Research Center, (2013). Creating an Effective Online Instructor Presence (PDF), Teachers College, Columbia University.

Pacansky-Brock, M. (2016, Apr 27). How to keep the human element in online classes. Edsurge.

Pacansky-Brock, M. (2017). On Being First, Teaching & Learning Innovations at CI, HumanizED Podcast, Episode 1. 

Pacansky-Brock, M., (2017). Why Online Classes Matter,Teaching & Learning Innovations at CI, HumanizED Podcast, Episode 2. 

Smedshammer, M. (2017). 10 Tips for Creating Effective Instructional Videos by the amazing Mike Smedshammer of Modesto Junior College.

Toolkits & Other Goodies

How to Humanize Your Online Class Infographic
Humanized Syllabus
Behaviors and Strategies for Improving Online Instructor Presence
Sample Student Info Form
Sample Wisdom Wall (video excerpt)
Sample Community Groundrules (for online classes)

Instructional Examples

Liquid Syllabus from Humanizing Online Teaching & Learning, CCC CVC-OEI/@ONE
Benefits of a Liquid Syllabus (3-minute video)
Triangular Trade by Matt Mooney
The Truck Stop by Michelle Macfarlane
Photographer Showcase -VoiceThread student project
Fire & Ice – Adobe Spark Video student project by Amber Lea Greene
Made in LA – Adobe Spark Page student project by Jasmine Escobido


Barnett, Elisabeth A. 2011. “Validation Experiences and Persistence among Community College Students.” The Review of Higher Education 34 (2): 193–230.

Borup, J., West, R. E., & Graham, C. R. (2012). Improving online social presence through asynchronous video. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 195-203.

Canning, E. A., Muenks, K., Green, D. J., & Murphy, M. C. (2019). STEM faculty who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes. Science Advances, 5(2). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau4734

Delmas, P. (2017, May 31). Using VoiceThread to create community in online learning. Association for Educational Communications & Technology.

Gelbach, H., Brinkworth, M. E., King, A. M., Hsu, L. M., McIntyre, J., & Rogers, T. (2016). Creating birds of similar feathers: Leveraging similarity to improve teacher-student relationships and academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 343-352.

Harris, F. and Wood, J. L. Teaching and learning for men of color in the community college.

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

Jaggars, S. S. & Xu, D. (2016). How do online course design features influence student performance?, Computers & Education, 95, 270-284.

Jaggars, S. S. & Xu, D. (2015). Predicting Online Student Outcomes from a Measure of Course Quality, working paper.

Jaggars, S. S. (2014). Democratization of education for whom? Online learning and educational equity, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 17(1). 

Jaggars, S.S. (2014). Choosing between online and face-to-face courses: Community college student voices, American Journal of Distance Education, March: 28(1), 27-38.

James, S., Swan, K., & Daston, C. (2015). Retention, Progression and the Taking of Online CoursesOnline Learning, 20(2).

Kaupp, R. (2012). Online penalty: The impact of online instruction on the Latino-White achievement gap. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College,19(2), spring, 8-16.

Munoz, S. & Rendon, L. (2011). Revisiting validation theory: Theoretical foundations, applications, and extensions. Enrollment Management Journal. 5. 12-33.

Pacansky-Brock, M. (2014). Learning out loud: Increasing voluntary voice comments in online classes. In Lowenthal, P., York, C., & Richardson, J. (Eds.), Online learning: Common misconceptions, benefits, and challenges. Nova Science.

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

Rozek, C. S., Ramirez, G., Fine, R. D., & Beilock, S. L. (2019, January 29). Reducing socioeconomic disparities in the STEM pipeline through student emotion regulation. PNAS, 116(5), 1553-1558.

Teaching Men of Color in the Community College, course readings from the Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA) at Canada College.

Wood, L. (2014). Apprehension to engagement in the classroom: perceptions of Black males in the community college. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 27(6), 785-803.

Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2014). Performance gaps between online and face-to-face courses: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas. The Journal of Higher Education, 85(5), 633-659

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