Humanizing Online STEM  Showcase

 Nakysha Cummings, Psychology Professor, 

Cerro Coso College

This site provides examples of instructional resources created in the Humanizing Online STEM Academy, a professional development program funded by the California Education Learning Lab and administered by the Foothill DeAnza Community College District.


Where I was

I have been teaching online for over 10 years and had grown accustomed to standardized text only discussion forums and providing text only graded feedback to my students. I seldom employed alternative methods  of teaching with the exception of an occasional group presentation project.

Where I am.

During the past 6 weeks of the Humanizing STEM academy I have developed a new exciting repertoire of interactive online teaching skills which promote cultural  inclusivity and incorporate teaching methods to align to various  student learning styles.

Where I am going.

I plan to  utilize the knowledge gained  during the training to revise my other online courses. I now have a renewed perspective on my role as an educator. I am dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming  online classroom in which students are both challenged and supported in their learning environment.   

A screenshot of my liquid syllabus


The liquid syllabus will serve as the first point of contact , future students will receive before the course officially starts. Since it is the first impression students will have of me and the course it is important to convey a message of being warm and approachable. The liquid syllabus will provide an overview of the first week of assignments, course materials and expectations.


I chose this image because it employs vibrant colors and showcases a variety of active skills needed to be successful in research methods. Each symbol represents how a person would be engaged in research such as planning, gathering evidence, collaborating with others and measuring data.


Welcome to my Home page, it is designed to be vibrant and inviting. I used my favorite colors teal and yellow. On the course homepage students have access to the syllabus , course modules and assignments.


The Getting to Know You Survey is strategically located on the course home page and appears directly under the start here module. This will convey the message to students that they matter and are key partners in their learning environment emphasizing a relationship over pedagogy. Sample questions from the survey highlight the concepts of inclusivity and life long learning .

Q: How do you learn best? What works for you? What doesn't?  

Q: What would you like me to call you?  

Q:  What are your goals in life? 


The Wisdom Wall serves as an informal virtual mentor for future students.  Current students will leave advice on how to prepare for the midterm exam including study techniques, challenges,  study resources and tips on time management. The activity centers upon the importance of capturing student voices on shared learning experiences in a reciprocal cycle.


The Bumper video provides an instructional visual overview of how to complete the first course assignment entitled , " The Getting To Know You Project". The project enriches student to student interactions and is an impactful storytelling tool. 

The Bumper video includes an example of a completed project , consisting of my brief biography . Overall,  students will learn how to complete the assignment and learn about  their professor as well .


The Micro Lecture discusses the key components of correlational research in a concise narrated visual presentation. Often students confuse correlation with causation ; the video provides real life interactive examples of how to accurately define and use correlational studies within Psychological research.