Inclusive Teaching is a FREE asynchronous professional development course that aims to deepen educators’ knowledge of inclusive teaching practices. The course was designed with undergraduate introductory life science educators in mind, but components of the course will resonate with educators in other contexts.
Classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse. Learners come from different backgrounds, race, gender, socioeconomic status, and cultural backgrounds. They have varying abilities, levels of formal education, and preparedness. Some struggle with neurodivergent learning abilities, others work while attending college full-time, and in recent years many adult learners have been returning to higher education. Educators are faced with these nuances and challenges of how to meet the needs of the growing diverse student body, independent of the type of institution (small, large, research-focused, learning focused, etc.) and classroom size. Applying inclusive teaching practices and techniques in the classroom can help educators reach all learners in a way that is particular to them.
About the Course
The course consists of six modules:
- Module 0, “Course Orientation,” includes information on reflective practice and sources of feedback to improve teaching practices and introduces the action plan. This plan enables educators to track progress on an area of focus for improvement in their teaching.
- Module 1, “Self,” encourages interrogation of self and systems to better understand how these factors affect learners’ educational experience.
- Module 2, “Empathy,” introduces the role of empathy, motivation, and sense of belonging and provides insights into relevant practices that educators can incorporate into their teaching.
- Module 3, “Classroom Climate,” discusses how an educator’s position of power and use of physical and verbal expressions set the climate for the course. The module includes practical ways to improve classroom dialogue between the educator and learner and learner-to-learner interactions.
- Module 4, “Teaching and Learning,” provides practical strategies and assessment practices to improve learner sense of belonging, equitable teaching practices, and learner outcomes.
- Module 5, “Networks and Structures,” returns to the educator, or self, and focuses on support structures at the institutional level and beyond. We recognize that teaching is hard, and having support structures improves the experience for both the educator and the learner.