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Designing Inclusivity into Your Course

Rita Margarida Magalhaes and Rebecca Johnson -- At the heart of an equitable and inclusive classroom environment is the belief that all students have a right to learn and that students are welcome as they are, without the need to code switch or out themselves. You can communicate this belief to students through classroom policies and intentional design choices. The approaches to inclusive design and policy setting in this post are informed by Universal Design for Learning and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. The strategies presented here are not meant to be exhaustive.

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Building Inclusive Communities in All Modes of Instruction

Rita Margarida Magalhaes and Rebecca Johnson -- The notion of a "classroom" as a physical space in which we gather together to learn and challenge one another has fragmented across modes and platforms in the COVID-19 pandemic. It may take a little more work and intention to create an inclusive learning community with your students in this new landscape, but it is possible.

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Access and Inclusion Project FLC Year 1 Case Studies

The faculty who participated in the NSF iUSE grant-funded Access and Inclusion Project have reported back on their strategies and experiences. As we gather more information, these case studies will be made more robust, but for now, here's a sample of the strategies implemented by the Access and Inclusion faculty in the 2016-17 academic year.

 

Classroom strategies employed by the 2016-17 Access and Inclusion Project faculty

Class 

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Engaging with Student Motivation

Rebecca Johnson--One of my favorite books is How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose and others. The chapter I turn to again and again is “What Factors Motivate Students to Learn?” Ambrose, et al, make it clear that while we may worry about how to engage students, ultimately it’s the students who have to make decisions about how they spend their time and focus their attention.

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What We Know about Teaching with Universal Design for Learning

Rebecca Johnson--Both the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Rochester Institute of Technology have a long history of exploring and advancing issues of access and inclusion in a variety of classroom situations. The first two resources, below, ClassAct and Teach2Connect, were developed at NTID and provide a wealth of resources and stories of how individual faculty have addressed access and inclusion in their classes.

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High-Impact Accessibility Practices

Rebecca Johnson--The Disability Services Office at RIT has compiled a list of specific practices for teaching students with particular disabilities. We’ve taken some of that information on their website and turned it around, looking at which practices can help the most students.* This list is a great example of how Universal Design for Learning works. While each of these is an evidence-based strategy for supporting a student with a particular disability, any of these practices can help all of your students.

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Access and Inclusion

Rebecca Johnson--Teaching and Learning Services provides support for faculty who wish to foster access and inclusivity in their classrooms. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is helpful framework for many of these activities.

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What Is Universal Design for Learning?

Rebecca Johnson--Universal Design for Learning (UDL) combines what we know about how learning works with a commitment to providing course materials that are engaging and accessible to produce a learning experience that benefits all students. David Rose at the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) in Boston first conceived of UDL, and called for instructors to provide multiple means of representation (how can you provide different avenues into course content?), multiple mean

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Faculty Stories Update: Kate Wright and Online Annotation for Class Assessment

Rebecca Johnson--What is a Faculty Stories Update? Over time, digital tools change or are subsumed by other platforms. Sometimes tools disappear entirely. We are updating the Faculty Stories from our website to describe new tools, or categories of tools, that can be used in place of those that are no longer available.

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Faculty Stories: Sandi Connelly and How Online Teaching Is Different

Rebecca Johnson—When she moved her large-enrollment biology courses online, Sandi Connelly wanted to create an environment that met the educational needs of both supported and non-supported students.

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