How can educators make their online teaching more inclusive? This topic has become even more pressing and challenging with the current climate of social and political controversies surrounding our everyday lives.
I recently spoke with Dalindyebo Shabalala-an assistant professor at University of DaytonSchool of Law who's originally from South Africa-on the importance of inclusive pedagogy in online education. The courses he teaches range from Contracts to Business Law, while his research focuses on how international intellectual property treaties intersect with climate change law, issues in technology, and the rights of indigenous peoples. But no matter what topic he's teaching, embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the classroom remains a top priority.
He shared with me these three ingredients towards building an inclusive online learning environment:
1. Be transparent about class intentions and form meaningful connections with your students at the very beginning.
The great thing about online teaching is that it gives each student the ability to individualize their learning. They can work around their own schedule, figure it out for themselves, etc. When designing an online course for yourself and others to teach, however, you don't have as much luxury in moving curriculum around, changing this, tweaking that. So how do you adjust to each cohort's unique group of students?
I always say, take the intentional approach that your course is not just about one type of student-it's about many types of people. And then make sure students see that right from the beginning of the course. For your introductory session, talk about what it means to be in your class. Get buy-in from everybody around the common 'we' and the community you intend to create in the classroom. But also discuss that there are limits to how everybody should engage, too.
2U Inc. published this content on 17 August 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 17 August 2021 21:13:04 UTC.