Students find purpose in their learning process when they can connect with the instructor, and when learning objectives and the course content connect with their personal experiences. Applying equitable methods promotes student access and success while acknowledging institutional obstacles. This principle addresses learning barriers in the online learning environment and introduces effective practices to improve equitable outcomes across disciplines, moving us toward equity-minded online classrooms that are welcoming, supportive, and student-centered. This principle enables:
- Developing culturally aware course content and assessments, and inclusive pedagogies;
- Supporting students as they navigate institutional expectations while enhancing their digital literacy;
- Improving students’ sense of belonging and increasing engagement;
- Building capacity for creating equity-minded institutions;
- Aligning online teaching and learning to college success plans
The above principles inform the practices noted below, as taught in courses provided by the @one online network of educators – @one principles for quality online teaching
Applying the Principles:
Teaching web programming, project management, and various technology courses since 1996 consistently reinforced the need to connect with students for who and where they are. It’s not possible to teach a programming languages without building community and considering learning modalities. Addressing multiple pedagogies and creating an encouraging, inclusive community are what makes teaching in a community college meaningful.
- When I assign a video, I include printed materials
- When I assign concepts, I include application details
- When I offer what we will learn, I link to jobs and projects where the skills are in demand
In the @one courses, I struggled to open up on a personal level because I’m an introvert. Now, in my classes, I talk about what I’m working on, what my weekend projects are, and I strive to connect on a friendly, humor level. In part because introversion is a career limiter for my students who typically prefer to be coding behind a keyboard than leading a meeting. I also include more graphics on Canvas pages to offer friendly, upbeat, colorful views of the courses.
- I created a friendly page, with videos, based on this approach for my fall semester classes: https://sites.google.com/view/kellycooperfall19/home
- I created a visually friendly syllabus in our @one course: https://2degreeshift.com/RevisedCIS138-Internet_of_Things.pdf
- I created a video in the Humanizing Online Teaching and Learning course to address a complex topic in a way that supplemented student reading: https://youtu.be/HpDZvEY0K6o
- I created a short video to connect with students: https://youtu.be/PD8Y0hY36-c
Where I was: I was available, kind, and communicated with a respectful voice. I was a good ‘teacher’; however, I stayed permanently in the teacher role.
Where I am: With @one classes, I started connecting as a person too, as a developer, inventor, and maker.
Where I’m headed: I’m creating ways for students to see what I’m making. I’m passionate about my projects and that passion is something students like to engage with. I can show them beyond the textbook, to what works, what I’ve struggled with (as a developer), etc. In talking about these things I notice my voice is different and I provide a learning perspective that is more creative. I am taking a video class and plan to share my workshop, how I approach product development, and what tools I use so we can make things together.