About This Workshop

Humanized learning increases the relevance of content and improves students' motivation to log-in week-after-week. When students relate to an online instructor as something more than a subject matter expert and begin to conceive of themselves as part of a larger community, they are more likely to be motivated, be satisfied with their learning, and succeed in achieving the course objectives (Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001; Picciano, 2002; Rovai & Barnum, 2003; Richardson & Swan, 2003).

Workshop Details

When & Where:

  • Wed, April 22nd, 8:30-10am CT
  • Lone Star C4


Short link to this page:

Humanizing Practices

Humanize your syllabus

Your syllabus is so much more than a course contract, it is often the very first content item a student experiences in your online class. For this reason, your syllabus holds tremendous opportunity for humanizing! Consider creating a syllabus with a micro-publishing tool like Populr.me and incorporate images and a high-energy welcome video to motivate your students.

  • Click on the image to the right to view this example of a humanized syllabus in a new window.
  • Click the button below to get your free PRO Populr Educator account.

Get your Populr Educator Account!

Welcome students with

a high-energy video

Not much of a video whiz? No worries! Animoto takes your still images and 10-second video clips and mixes them into a hip, MTV-style video set to the music you select from their royalty-free library.

  • Click the button below to get your (renewable) 6-month classroom license and receive a free Plus account. This provides you with unlimited creation of song-length videos that may be exported directly to YouTube.

Get Your Animoto Classroom License!

Empower & motivate students with a Wisdom Wall

The Wisdom Wall is a simple strategy that can work to reduce anxiety in students at the start of any class! Here's how it works...in the final weeks of your class, reach out to your students and ask them to reflect on their experiences. Encourage them to remember how they felt at the start of the semester about your class and then to identify successful strategies that helped them throughout the semester. Capture these nuggets of "wisdom" in a video, a VoiceThread, or FlipGrid. Then share your Wisdom Wall with students in week one of your next class! Bam! Win-win.

(Pacansky-Brock, 2012)

Engage students in a warm, asynchronous conversation

"Warm, asynchronous" is a description that describes the unique experience of interacting in a VoiceThread. A VoiceThread contains media files (images, videos, presentation slides, and more) around which you and your students leave comments in voice or video.

  • Click the video to the right for an example.
  • Then register for your free VoiceThread account (after you create 5 VoiceThreads, you will be prompted to upgrade to a premium account).

Get your VoiceThread account!


Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D. R. , & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conference environment. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1-17.

Pacansky-Brock, M. (2012). Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. Routledge.

Picciano, A. (2002). Beyond student perceptions: Issues of interaction, presence, and performance in an online course. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), July 2002, 21-40.

Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students' perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7(1), February 2003, 68-88

Rovai, A. P., & Barnum, K. T. (2003). On-Line course effectiveness: An analysis of student interactions and perceptions of learning. Journal of Distance Learning, 18(1), 57-73.

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How to Humanize Your Online Class Workshop Website by Teaching & Learning Innovations @CI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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