Humanizing Online STEM Showcase

 Fayzul Pasha, Professor, Civil and Geomatics Engineering, California State University,  Fresno

Reflections

Where I was.

I was always an in-person classroom instructor until the spring of 2020. When Covid-19 hit, we all went to online teaching method whether I liked it or not that time. I started understanding the importance of online teaching and the necessity of appropriate tools. Specially the importance of right tools for STEM education. 

Where I am.

After offering few online classes, I adapted myself well into the online teaching method. I participated in different workshops related to online teaching including this Humanizing STEM Academy. This course helped me lot in terms of understanding the theories and using the appropriate tools to make the course more humanized. After taking the course, I have learned the theories and toolboxes to humanize elements and activities that I can implement in all my of classes. 

Where I am going.

I am planning to update all of my courses to make them more humanized using the tools and theories I learned from this STEM academy. The improvements of my courses will not be limited to online. The improvement can be equally applied to all in-person courses. I am definitely a a student centered instructor and making the course more humanized and offering kindness can ensure inclusion in my class. It's specially important for engineering education where hands-on education the key for the success. 

Liquid Syllabus

The first introduction to CE 170: Introduction to Water Resources Engineering will be through this liquid syllabus. It's a friendly overview of the course.  This includes several elements including a welcome video, a list of expectations for both the student and myself, my teaching philosophy, a week #1 to do list, and several resources where to get help. This should help the student orient themselves even before the course begins. 


Course Card

Course Card

Once a student logs on to Canvas, the first thing they see is the Course Card. I chose the image of the water in a lake surrounded by forest it relates to the course content. 



Homepage

After clicking on the course card student can access my Humanized Homepage. This page is meant to be inviting, but not overly informative. So, I kept it simple. I want the students to know that I'm happy to have them in my course and hopefully excite them about the course. 


Getting to Know You Survey

The "Getting to Know You" survey is assigned in the first week of the course. There are several questions that will help me to better know who each student is, along with a variety of preferences. Along with their name and preferred form of communications, I ask questions like:

Wisdom Wall

This Wisdom Wall is a collection of stories by my students in a prior class and listened to by students in a current class. I invited students to contribute to the Wisdom Wall by asking them to share their advice for success about a particular topic with future students. By listening to the advice, students see that other students have similar struggles and identify new strategies for overcoming them. 



Bumper Video

A Course Bumper is a brief, visually-oriented short video that serves an instructional purpose in your course. I chose the concept of bearing, which appears in several applications in Trigonometry. The video describes the two main ways bearing is presented and acts as a precursor to the actual applications. Bearing can be confusing for some students, so I hope the video can clarify a bit of that confusion. 


Microlecture

A microlecture, according the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, is "a short recorded audio or video presentation on a single, tightly defined topic." I chose completing the square which is a skill that comes up over and over again at all levels of water resources engineering which is about energy equation. My video is just about 9 minutes and can act as a brief introduction and application of the energy equation to solve a real-word problem.