Human Element: An Essential Online Course Component

Academic Partnerships

Oct 21, 2013 to Nov 24, 2013
Cost per enrollment: Free

Enrollment Closed

Full course description

Students want to know their instructor. This challenges online faculty to integrate technologies, such as avatars, video, and social media, to introduce their digital personalities and enhance learners’ experiences. This is called “humanizing,” which, according to DuCharme-Hansen, Dupin-Bryant, 2005 “reduces the psychological distance between the students and the instructor.”

As online learning initiatives continue to expand, so does the need to leverage new learning technology to ensure students feel connected and engaged with the instructor and the course material.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn how to integrate educational technology tools into an online course with an emphasis on technology that can create an instructor presence or increase personal interaction.
  • Share insights and suggestions about how to “humanize” online courses by maximizing the use of flexible educational technology tools.
  • Demonstrate how technology-facilitated interactions can make instructors and learners more "real" online and how this correlates with student learning and retention.



DuCharme-Hanson, R. and Dupin-Bryant, P. (2005). Course Planning for Online Adult Learners. Tech Trends March/April 49 (2), 31-39.