Maintaining an equitable and inclusive virtual learning environment remains critical in a remote environment. This page offers resources on diversity, equity and inclusion as they related to remote and hybrid teaching.
Equity and Access in Remote Teaching
There are special considerations for providing an equitable and accessible learning environment when it comes to remote teaching.
- Accessing digital content (audio, text, video) for students with physical impairments may present a challenge; therefore, it is important to research available resources presented by your school, and direct students to You and/or your students may contact the Office of Disability and Access Services for accommodations when considering how students with disabilities or learning differences interact with course content remotely.them.
- Accessing and processing digital content for students with learning differences may be challenging as well. In these instances, students may need additional support and additional time to process the content.
- Access in the digital learning environment also refers to student access to technologies (computer, headset, software, etc.) and a stable internet connection. It may be best to conduct a survey in the beginning of the semester to assess students’ access to these technologies before planning the activities for your course. Be especially mindful of international students who may not have the same access to technology and/or course materials due to their geographic location/time zones, and/or their countries’ potential rules and restrictions.
Further Reading: Equity & Access
Hamraie, Aimi. Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19. 10 Mar. 2020.
Ten Steps Toward Universal Design of Online Courses. University of Arkansas Disability Resource Center
Diversity & Inclusion in Remote Teaching
In order to ensure full engagement and motivation in a remote teaching environment, it is essential to provide an inclusive learning environment, one in which students of any background, race, identity, feel included and encouraged to participate. In a remote environment, due to the increased number of variables instructors often need to navigate in class (e.g. additional technology, hybrid class environment, etc.), it can become more challenging to actively consider diversity and inclusion throughout your class session. Simple strategies such as acknowledging students’ names and their preferred pronouns, making an effort to learn international students’ original names, ensuring students familiarize themselves with one another by providing opportunities for student interaction from the first day of class, setting collaborative ground rules on language used in class when addressing topics related to race, or ensuring cross-cohort collaboration in a hybrid classroom are only some of the best practices in ensuring an inclusive learning environment where everyone feels comfortable and welcome in class.
Further Reading: Diversity & Inclusion
“Searle Center for Advanced Learning & Teaching.” Creating Inclusive Learning Environments: Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching.
Jungels, Amanda. “Inclusion, Equity, and Access While Teaching Remotely.” Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence, Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence, 13 Mar. 2020.
“Engaging GW International Students in Online or Hybrid Teaching Contexts.” Columbian College of Arts & Sciences
“Teaching International Students in Online or Hybrid Contexts.” GW English for Academic Purposes, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, George Washington University.