The purpose of this website is to communicate ongoing developments about the Humanizing Online STEM project, distribute resources, publish research findings, and showcase faculty and student experiences.
The History of Humanized Online Teaching
The model of Humanized Online Teaching shared on this site is deeply informed by equity-minded online teachers and the groundbreaking research of scholars of color including Zaretta Hammond, Laura Rendón, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, Claude Steele, Luke Wood, and Frank Harris, who are often overlooked in mainstream higher education research about online education.
The humanizing model presented here began to take shape around 2007 through a collaborative, grassroots teaching community that originated in California Community Colleges (CCCs) through the professional development of @ONE (Online Network of Educators), a CCC Chancellor’s Office initiative, and hundreds of committed educators. In 2014, Humanizing became the cornerstone of CSU Channel Islands’ (CSUCI) Online Teaching Preparation Program, developed by Michelle Pacansky-Brock, as part of CSUCI’s Teaching and Learning Innovations team. In 2018, Pacansky-Brock developed a four-week Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning course for the CCC California Virtual Campus (CVC). In 2019, the California Learning Lab grant provided an opportunity to further hone a model of humanizing and incorporate it into a six-week online professional development course for STEM faculty. In 2020, Pacansky-Brock, Mike Smedshammer, and Kim Vincent-Layton published Humanizing Online Teaching to Equitize Higher Education, in Current Issues in Education, which laid the foundation for the Academy.
The Project Team
The Humanizing Online STEM project is a statewide collaboration between the California Community College, California State University, and University of California system. The project team members are:
- Michelle Pacansky-Brock, Faculty Mentor, Online Teaching & Learning, Foothill-DeAnza Community College, CVC/@ONE
- Mike Smedshammer, Faculty and Distance Education Coordinator, Modesto Junior College
- Kim Vincent-Layton, Educational Developer and Lecturer, California Polytechnic University, Humboldt
- Di Xu, Associate Professor, School of Education, UC Irvine
- Jeffrey White, Professor of Biology at California Polytechnic University, Humboldt
- Sarah Williams, Mathematics faculty, Foothill College
- Brent Wedge, Computer Science faculty, Modesto Junior College
Invaluable support and guidance has been provided by Justin Schultz, Roxie Christensen, Jenniffer Cecilia Perez Lopez, Yujia Liu, Mari Bañuelos, Michael Hill, Xunfei Li, Maritez Apigo, Fabiola Torres, Mica Estrada, Kevin Kelly, Gayathri Manikandan, and Larry Green.
"The Humanizing Online STEM Academy has completely changed for the better how I teach my online courses. The material was relevant, well supported with examples and evidence of effectiveness, and extremely well structured and enjoyable to learn."
"Don’t keep this course a secret! All faculty need a chance to take it! Organized, research-based training like this is pure gold."
"One of my most valuable takeaways ... is the notion of a compassionate demander. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive - in fact, I think they go well together. By accepting late work and allowing second chances and corrections I put the emphasis on the quality of my students’ work."
"This Humanizing STEM Academy has been a life-changing experience - opening up my eyes in ways that I would have never imagined coming in. I am very grateful for this opportunity."
"I received more instructor support, warm feedback and encouragement than I remember ever having in any previous class I have had online. Best professional development ... in eleven years of higher ed teaching!"
"Think of arriving with an empty tool belt... you'll leave with it full AND the knowledge that goes along with utilizing those tools for our students' benefit! I'm excited to apply all I learned and become a more 'present' instructor/facilitator/supporter in my classes."
"The Humanizing Online STEM Academy allowed me to move past frantically learning new tools to examine my cultural context and teaching philosophy. At the same time, I did learn new and useful online teaching and accessibility tools. And very importantly, the facilitators are excellent role models."