Campus scene with benches at Regis University

Teaching for Inclusion

Inclusive Pedagogy

Inclusive pedagogy involves taking a student-centered and equity-based approach to teaching. The unique background and abilities of each individual learner are considered and incorporated into teaching practice. The classroom environment as defined by inclusive pedagogy is a level playing field where all students feel equally accepted, empowered, and encouraged to learn and participate.

This article provides suggestions for creating an inclusive classroom.

This website offers a wealth of resources regarding teaching for inclusion. 

This checklist outlines some of the assumptions that can affect our teaching and interactions with students.

Here are additional resources regarding inclusivity and diversity. 

Universal Design

Colleges originally served a small and relatively homogeneous student population. However, these institutions continue to serve a much broader group of students as individuals from increasingly diverse backgrounds have come to occupy college campuses. There has been an increase in the diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds of college students, as well as an increase in students with disabilities on college campuses. 

Universal Design is an attempt to make education more accessible to individuals of all backgrounds. One major tenet of Universal Design is that teachers and professors have the skills and knowledge to effectively teach students from a diverse array of backgrounds and abilities. Students are treated as unique and individual learners, and teaching strategies are adapted accordingly. The goal of Universal Design for Learning is to create a classroom that is free of barriers to learning. 

Universal Design for Learning was adapted from theory and policy for architects. The purpose of this policy was to promote accessibility for everyone. All rooms in a building that is universally designed will be accessible to all individuals, regardless of their individual profile of ability. Likewise, courses that are universally designed will include materials, assignments, and assessments that are accessible regardless of student ability.

However, there are many more benefits of these policies than just accessibility. A universally designed course will allow more choices for engaging with the material, in a variety of ways. Not only does an audio format benefit a student who cannot see, but it also benefits a student who may learn best with an audio format as opposed to a visual one. In this way, Universal Design can expand the effectiveness of courses and instructors.

National Center for Understanding Universal Design For Learning provides numerous resources for understanding and implementing principles of UDL. 

CAST Universal Design for Learning is a resource for better understanding UDL.

Accessibility - Emerging Technologies for Student Centered Learning - Summer 2017 explains some basics of accessibility and ADA compliance. 

Transparency in Teaching

Empirical evidence shows that transparent teaching practices bolster student success. The process of making assessments, classroom policies, and expectations clear to students increases confidence, helps to promote metacognition, and facilitates learning. Below is a list of resources which can help you to learn more about transparent teaching practices and how to implement them in your class.

A Teaching Intervention That Increases Underserved College Students Success explores the relationship between transparent teaching practices and student success

Transparency in Teaching: Faculty Share Data and Improve Students Learning explains some of the benefits of transparent teaching practices.

The Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education gathers information on transparent teaching practices and works to help schools and professors to implement such practices.