Cultivate students’ sense of connection to your course, the discipline, to the university, and to scholarly and professional communities.
- Communicate high expectations and your belief that with effort and commitment all students can succeed.
- Emphasize that struggle and challenge are important parts of the learning process, rather than signs of student deficiency.
- Discuss ways to overcome challenges and frustrations with your course content.
Respect and Community
- Learn and use students’ names and pronouns; learn what they choose to be called (which may differ from a name on a roster) and how it’s pronounced.
- Encourage students to learn and use one another’s names, correctly pronounced.
- Build rapport through regular icebreakers.
- Acknowledge campus, local and global events or incidents that may be creating barriers to students’ sense of being welcomed and valued; acknowledge the differential effects incidents have on different students.
- Assess students’ prior knowledge about your field and topics so you can accurately align instruction with their strengths and needs
- Help students connect their prior knowledge to new learning (e.g., when introducing a new topic, ask students individually to reflect on what they already know about the topic).
Diverse representation in your course content and delivery
- Emphasize the range of identities and backgrounds of experts who have contributed to your field, and/or sponsor discussion about the reasons for a history of limited access to the field.
- When inviting outside critics or speakers, seek to identify professionals who bring a range of backgrounds, including identities that are different from yours.
- Prepare outside visitors to contribute to the inclusive environment in your classroom (by making sure they are aware of accessibility needs, sharing norms you’ve established for inclusive discussions, etc.).