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Season 2, Episode 5 - Teach & Learn

How to Humanize Online Learning with Nicolas Parés and Mandi Singleton

Join D2L for a discussion on the importance of humanizing online learning, complete with practical tips for educators.

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Welcome to Season 2, Episode 5 of Teach & Learn: A podcast for curious educators, brought to you by D2L. Hosted by Dr. Cristi Ford, VP of Academic Affairs at D2L, the show features candid conversations with some of the sharpest minds in the K-20 education space. We discuss trending educational topics, teaching strategies and delve into the issues plaguing our schools and higher education institutions today.

Episode Description  

As educators, we’re aware of the need for real, personalized relationships with students—but it took a global pandemic to really solidify the importance of creating meaningful connections in a virtual space.

To discuss the topic of humanizing online learning further, we welcomed learning and training specialists Nicolas Parés and Mandi Singleton. Our guests and host chatted about:

  • The importance of building meaningful connections in virtual spaces
  • How their own teaching experiences shaped their respective careers
  • How to design courses with a focus on care and connection
  • Why instructors and educators should embrace being vulnerable
  • Practical tips and tools for educators to build rapport in online learning environments.

Show Notes

02:03: An introduction to Mandi and Nicolas

03:03: How the chapter on ‘Humanizing Online Learning’ came to be

06:30: Mandi discusses her experiences as a K-12 teacher and shares thoughts on social-emotional learning

09:50: The importance of building relationships first and designing course content second

12:37: How life as an English teacher shaped Nicolas’ career path

15:46: How instructors can create space and opportunities for connecting with students

22:24: Tips and tools for faculty looking to build better relationships with learners

33:44: Advice to listeners who are trying to stretch the boundaries of how they’re humanizing online environments


Nicolas Pares

Nicolas Parés

Instructional Designer and Curriculum Developer Read Nicolas Parés's bio
Mandi Singleton

Mandi Singleton

Corporate Learning and Development Specialist Read Mandi Singleton's bio
Dr. Cristi Ford

Dr. Cristi Ford

Vice President of Academic Affairs, D2L Read Dr. Cristi Ford's bio
Naomi Szekeres
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