Humanizing Online STEM Showcase

Julie Cornett, Professor & Librarian, Cerro Coso Community 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 began this course with overall proficiency in the tenets of effective online teaching and learning, having completed coursework and training in online pedagogy. As a college librarian, I develop online learning objects and integrate eCollections and resources into online platforms. And as a reviewer for my college's Peer Online Course Review team, I review online courses for my colleagues, so I started with a lot of experience. What was missing, though, was the confidence to try new tools and an overwhelming sense that there were too many to choose from. I also recognized the need to learn new approaches to connect better with my online students.

Where I am.

After 6 intensive weeks of applied learning in the academy, I feel I've gained a comfort level trying out and using new tech tools. Creating informal and quick videos while distinguishing between various platfoms is now something I'm comfortable with. The Liquid Syllabus I created in this class has already been deployed to my late-start LIBR C100 class with positive results, as has the FlipGrid Icebreaker activity. In less than 1 week of my online class starting, I'm already noticing increased peer-peer connection and interaction. I also feel I have a deeper appreciation for pedagogy that recognizes and values different cultural characteristics of learners.

Where I am going.

This class has equipped me with knowledge and tools that I will immediately use in my current classes. I'll need to revamp a lot of my existing assignments to align them with some of the key practices I've learned in the class, particularly around the idea of being a "warm demander".

Liquid Syllabus Preview

Liquid Syllabus

I developed a Liquid Syllabus to send out to students the week prior to class starting. It is a snapshot of what to expect, and includes a warm and welcoming video from me as well as a brief course overview, college resources, and learning pact. It all sets the stage for encouragement and trust from the onset.

LIBR C100 course card

Course Card

I wanted to capture the impish spirit of students playing hide and seek in the library for my course card. I feel this image is playful an disarms students as they enter the course.


My course homepage includes a label that clearly identifies the course. I've included a short welcome telling my students "I'm glad you're here!" I have a Course Navigation video designed to orient students to the class structure. Then my home page includes a few (not an overwhelming amount of!)links: Start Here, Announcements, and Zoom office hours to emphasize my availability.

Getting to Know You Survey

I've placed this Getting to Know You Survey in the Orientation module and the questions are designed to collect individual student preferences about name pronunciation, preferred method of contact, and how they are feeling starting the course. I will notate their answers so I can tailor my attention based on their preferences. So far, many students have shared their numbers asking to be texted, which will be a change for me, in all honesty.


I've placed this Icebreaker Flip activity in the Week 1 Assignments area and the prompt asks students to share a value they feel is important when participating on social media platforms. It is a low-steaks (5-point) assignment and I've already had a student thank me that I didn't make it worth a lot of points. It connects students to a real-world experience (social media) and also has them connect with each other using a tool where they can hear and see each other.

Wisdom Wall

I've placed this Wisdom Wall Flip activity in the final week of class--another low-steaks assignment that will hopefully get students to reflect on what they learned while making my next group of students more engaged.

Bumper Video

My Bumper video seeks to demystify APA and MLA citation in a super brief video. I used Adobe Express to create it and I hope it disarms students as an introduction for the week we focus on APA and MLA. I find students have very negative perceptions about citation: why we do it, what even is it? This video was developed to answer those questions, in a lighthearted way.


My Microlecture demystifies library jargon (database subject terminology) by making a comparison with #hashtags in social media. By understanding how subject terms work, the hope is that students will be able to perform more strategic searches in the databases. I used Adobe Express to create it, which allowed me to use fun stock images in addition to screenshot images. The backing music makes it approachable and, hopefully, more engaging.