Designing Psychological Safety Into Your Online Course

Concurrent Session 5 & 6 (combined)
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Courses designed within the framework of psychological safety help students perform better and implement what they learned on the job in creative ways to solve complex issues.  Come learn how to design psychological safety into your online classes.


Expanding the levels of human performance is my passion. Working with others to blast through perceived or real barriers to achieve one's potential gives me great pleasure and satisfaction. I use evidence-based assessments and development strategies to drive human potential. Technology has given me some great opportunities to scale my abilities and reach new heights. Designing online distance learning is my other passion. I use technology to bridge the transactional distance and build strong relationships with learners to help further the growth of wisdom in our world.

Extended Abstract

When you design a course from the framework of psychological safety, students are more willing and able to apply what they learn on the job in creative ways to solve complex problems. Psychological safety within organizations is the most important ingredient for creating high-performing and innovative teams. Just as in the workplace, creating an environment of psychological safety within the online learning environment is more important now than ever. Psychological safety is defined as "rewarded vulnerability." Many people have good ideas in the workplace or the online classroom but do not feel safe sharing them. They fear embarrassment, rejection, or punishment for speaking up. This fear directly affects student performance. Modeling and using strategies to create a psychologically safe learning environment gives your students the greatest chance to succeed and grow both within and outside your classroom.  

As the professor, teacher, or instructor, you are the leader in the classroom. Your leadership creates the learning environment. Learn how to create psychological safety in your online classroom using strategies to design and utilize the four stages of psychological safety.  

The four stages of psychological safety, as stated in Timothy Clark's book of the same name, are:

  • Inclusion safety
  • Learner safety
  • Contributor safety
  • Challenger safety

In this interactive session, you will apply specific strategies in your course and design psychological safety into your course. The strategies are evidence-based and focused on behaviors with the online course. If the courses are self-paced or instructor-led, you have the obligation and opportunity to create courses where student performance and well-being are the primary focus.  

During the session, we will be creating a Miro board to capture the behaviors and strategies you use in your classes and the behaviors we highlight during the session. You will then have access to the board with the multiple perspectives of the panel and attendees on strategies to facilitate a psychologically safe online learning environment. You can bring your course, and we can discuss the strategies to implement within your course.

We look forward to meeting and collaborating with you.