Week 0 Activities and Topics


Humanizing online instruction means creating a sense of connectedness that has been noted in research studies as methods for engaging and retaining students. This MOOC introduces learners to the process of building community in an online course. Prerequisite knowledge for this course is familiarity with online teaching and learning, willingness to interact and learn using a variety of technologies, and a desire to understand how multimedia might supplement instruction. This course is free and does not require a textbook. To be successful in this course, plan to spend approximately 3 hours per week completing activities and interacting with other participants. The primary audience for this course are those who wish to explore methods and tools that will enhance the sense of community and presence in online or hybrid learning.

This MOOC consists of three one-week modules which begin December 14th.


  1. Evaluate the use of several asynchronous tools that enhance teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence to meet the needs of learners who choose distance learning for the sake of convenience.
  2. Evaluate and choose the audio/video screen-casting tool that will be used for providing learners feedback via video.
  3. Develop a sample course announcement using audio and/or video to include in a comprehensive course communication plan.
  4. Consider and reflect on digital citizenship and how to demonstrate good citizenship using instructor presence.
  5. Experiment with new methods of monitoring and managing student progress.
  6. Develop course goals and outcomes communications.
  7. Develop a personal action plan explaining the new communication strategies to enhance instructor, cognitive, and social presence that will be included in the learners’ future courses.
  8. Explore the use of problem-based learning/project-based learning and triggering events that can build learners problem resolution strategies to deepen cognitive presence.
  9. Demonstrate how technology interactions can make instructors and learners more “real” online and how these interactions have an influence on learning.


To get started with Humanizing Online Instruction (#HumanMOOC), please take some time to review the following.

  • Canvas Help: If you need help with Canvas, access the Canvas Network FAQ Forum for technical support. There you can ask questions and report bugs. You can also request new features at the Canvas Network Feature Forum. (The easiest way to find this community is to click on Help in the upper right-hand corner of the Canvas screen.)
  • Course Support: The course facilitators will participate as much as possible in the course interactions. Please feel free to contact us regarding the course, content or information at any time by posting to the I Need HELP! discussion. We will respond as soon as possible within 48 hours. We will read and respond to discussions, blog posts, tweets and other interactions as much as “humanly” possible. The course facilitators will also be available during the live Google Hangout sessions using the backchannel on Twitter (hashtag #HumanMOOC).
  • For more information on how you can utilize Twitter effectively see the twitter guide for academics.


  • Review the course welcome and orientation (Week 0 in canvas), as well as the visual syllabus.
  • Become familiar with your MOOC wayfinders; Whitney Kilgore, Maha Al-Freih, Patrice Prusko, and Matt Crosslin.
  • Find ways to participate in this course and create your own day-to-day learning activities calendar using the visual syllabus as a guide.
  • Develop your personal action plan.
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board, connect with your peers on Twitter and LinkedIn, and be ready to share your experiences.
  • Join the Dual-Layer Design and Research Hangout with George Siemens and Matt Crosslin (December 5th at 11:30 AM CST)
  • Join the Previous HumanMOOC Experiences Hangout with Helen DeWaard, Daniel Clark, and Cathy Barnes (December 6, 2015 at 3:00 PM CST)