Reflections on the Humanization of the Online Learning Environment
For the past two weeks I have engaged in a new type of learning experience. This experience has been an opportunity for me to stretch myself professionally and personally. Currently, I am enrolled in an online course titled, Humanizing Online Learning. The overall premise of the course is to help educators develop policies and practices to create interactive, and student-centered online course content. The instructor, Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment to engage and interact with technology in a manner that is both personal and intellectual. As I consider the progress I have made in the last two weeks her construction of the class as well as her patient, empathetic countenance come to mind.
Prior to beginning the course I received multiple emails from Michelle regarding the requirements, and expectations while participating in this class. Her constant presence with us in the form of answering questions, troubleshooting technical difficulties and responding to posted work modeled the type of instructor behaviors I try to demonstrate. Course modules also included helpful information about developing online environment that adhere to Universal Design for Learning, the importance of developing social presence and demonstrating empathy as an instructor.
In closing I would again, like to thank Michelle for creating a platform for self-reflection and growth. Although I have taught online courses in the past, Michelle has given me many resources to consider and implement as I continue to build my teaching pedagogy in higher education.