Humanizing Online STEM Showcase

Dr. Kristin Maytubby | Psychology Instructor | Bakersfield 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 am a new full-time faculty and even newer to an online classroom. I had over a decade of face-to-face teaching experience prior to being hired by Bakersfield College.  In person teaching is comfortable and comes with ease for me. However, I was struggling with connecting with my students online.  I knew that if I was feeling the distance, they likely were as well.  Canvas offers so many options to create an engaging online environment, but unless you know how to use those tools, it can be very frustrating.When I saw the opportunity to take this course and all that it offered for online engagement, I jumped on board.  I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but I knew I needed more tools to be an effective instructor in order to bring value, comfort and connection to my online courses. As a new hire, my goals are to grow and development my knowledge and skills and this course was a great start.

Where I AM 

As the humanizing academy is coming to a close, I am so excited to take all that I have learned and put it to work.  I am ready to practice a warm demander pedagogy and continue to use warm, wise feedback. As a student in this course,  appreciate the kind feedback after turning in assignments, as well as the redirection when I needed to edit or fix an assignment for resubmission.  It felt like my instructors cared about my success and that's exactly how I want my students to feel. I enjoyed bringing some of the tools into my current courses to "try them on" and the response from my students was amazing.  I have started posting a weekly video just to check in with students; sometimes I'm on campus, others I'm at home, but the love the videos and said it made them feel like I was an actual human teaching them instead of a robot.  I feel empowered to be creative and use my strengths to connect through learning with my students.  I'm walking away with a YouTube channel, a beautiful and functional liquid syllabus and knowledge how to record videos using several apps.  I was able to further develop my skills with the principles of humanizing; trust, presence, awareness and empathy.  These skills will bring engagement from my students and encourage them to continue to pursue their goals. 

Where I AM going

I have stepped away from feeling like a college professor should be a certain way with rigid rules and expectations.  This course reminded me that flexibility, kindness cues and a warm environment are what I would have wanted from my professors and genuinely who I am.  I am excited to establish an online atmosphere that will encourage community among students so they don't feel isolated or alone.  I use will use the warm demander pedagogy to allow my students grow and develop their skills and reach their academic goals.  I look forward to using videos to show my students I am human too and to remind them that the best part of my job is walking along side them in their journey to success.  The tools I was given and skills I was taught in this course are beyond valuable and have definitely helped me grow as an instructor; my students will be better for it! 

Liquid Syllabus

My liquid syllabus will serve as a "first impression" to my students.  A way to introduce myself and allow them to get a feel for my classroom.  I will keep updated pictures so they can have a face to my name and see what some of my interests are.  This will allow my students to see me as a person, just like them.  I will also make sure that all my links and materials are updated to minimize student frustrations and help them to feel I'm equally invested in their success. After a look around my liquid syllabus, hopefully students feel comfortable and know what they need to do to be prepared.

course card

I will continue to use inclusive, warm images on my course cards to welcome students and have a sense of belonging. A course card is an invitation to the classroom and I want it to signify to the student that this is a class that will value them and interest them. 

My homepage will serve as a way to make students feel comfortable with a sense of belonging.  I use warm language and inclusive images that help students to feel they can trust me as their instructor for this course. I want my online environment to feel as welcoming and fun as my face-to-face courses. 

My "Getting to Know You" survey will be used as a bridge between my online students and I.  It contains questions that generally I could get answers to in an in person setting.  I ask students what they liked to be called as a way to ensure I respect their identity (nothing worse than being called the wrong name).  I also asked students what they need from me.  Every student has different needs and I want to ensure I am meeting everyone where they are at.

A wisdom wall is a great way to let students offer new students encouragement.  This wall fosters metacognition and a growth mindset for new students who may feel unsure or overwhelmed by the course, but after hearing how other students succeeded they will feel reassured that they can succeed too! 

Bumper videos are a great way to do a quick deep dive on a single topic.  These are great for difficult concepts and give students an additional way to learn the information.

Microlectures are a great way to offer a shorter (10 min) presentation on an area that aligns with the learning objective.  This particular lecture ensures that my students are able to understand Erickson's psychosocial theory.