Tips for Promoting Diversity & Inclusion in Online Courses
Communicate with Students
Learn and use students’ names when communicating (emails, discussion posts, etc.).
Record and post a video introducing yourself, welcoming students to class and providing a brief overview of the upcoming semester.
Have students introduce themselves via the Canvas discussion board.
Provide opportunities for students to interact with you and one another in real-time using Zoom. Even if your course is mainly asynchronous, you can hold virtual office hours or have collaboration in an online synchronous setting.
Write discussion prompts that take into consideration learners’ backgrounds, perspectives and values.
Include a civility statement in the syllabus that addresses specific expectations for student behavior, interaction, and communication (on the discussion board, in email messages, in the virtual classroom, within the context of group work, etc.).
At the start of a semester, establish community norms by having students identify and discuss their own expectations for respectful engagement and civil discourse in the online environment. Create course policies around these expectations. Hold students accountable – and have students hold one another accountable – when these policies are not followed.
Deliver a pre-assessment that addresses students’ experience using technology and multimedia tools for instructional purposes. Share supplemental resources with students who may exhibit knowledge gaps or have less hands-on experience.
Utilize tools in Canvas to implement self-assessments, such as focused reflection, journaling, and student-invented dialogs.