Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Inclusive Teaching and Learning
Inclusive Teaching and Learning
Inclusive teaching and learning is a mindset, a way of thinking that asks you how best to create opportunities for all students to connect with you, the course material, and each other.

How Can I Do This?

Research shows that educational contexts frequently reinforce inequities, which can hinder cognitive development and student well-being (Roksa, Kilgo, Trolian, Pascarella, Blaich, and Wise, 2017). There is no one way to implement inclusive teaching and learning. Consider some of these strategies to promote an equitable teaching and learning environment.

Intentionally design your course and curriculum with an inclusive mindset.

How can you increase representation of and access and support for your students? Being proactive before the semester begins can reduce your time spent later making accommodations and resolving conflicts, and enhances your teaching effectiveness.

Clearly communicate expectations and offer support.

Research indicates that perceptions of what "high expectations" means often varies between faculty and student (Borghi, Mainardes, and Silva, 2016). Communicate early and often what high expectations means to you, and provide support to all students as they work towards those expectations.

Get to know your students.

Ask students questions about their experiences related to course content: What's their previous experience with this subject? What are their goals in this course? What are their fears about this course?

Reflect on your teaching practices.

Teaching, like learning, provides the promise of on-going development, if we let it. Take time to reflect on how your practices and perspectives have changed, and in which directions you want to see them move.

Attend a campus workshop.

Several organizations across the UT campus offer workshops and seminars on a variety of Inclusivity topics. We have created a map of many of the campus resources and workshops available to you as you continue your journey to learn more about inclusive teaching and learning practices.

    Why is This Important?

    Considering students’ intersecting identities helps you connect your content to your learners, and also fosters a sense of belonging among students, cultivates empathy, and promotes resilience.

    Foster a sense of belonging among students.

    Research indicates a sense of belonging is positively associated with academic success and motivation (Freeman, Anderman, and Jensen, 2007). Students who feel they belong:

    Cultural competency is a must-have skill in today’s workforce.

    According to NACE's Job Outlook 2016 Survey, more than 80 percent of responding employers said they look for evidence that students have the skills to work well in teams — especially in diverse teams.

    Embracing diversity and equity is integral to our mission as educators.

    "As faculty, we have the opportunity as well as the social obligation to nurture talents and gifts that once might have been lost. We all have this opportunity - regardless of the teaching and learning setting in which we find ourselves. In response, it is our individual ethical and professional responsibility to create an inclusive learning environment - to the best of our ability" (Nolinske, 1999).

    Universal Design Learning Graphic

    What is UDL?

    Aiming for a more accessible learning environment? Want to cultivate more equitable experiences amongst your learners? We invite you to add one strategy ("+1") from the Universal Design for Learning framework to your pedagogical practice.

    poster for Spring 2021 ITL

    ITL Symposium

    What does inclusivity mean to you? How does that definition get translated into practice in your approach to teaching & learning? Join us, every semester (April / November) for an interactive series of sessions devoted to developing an inclusive teaching and learning mindset.

    Inclusive Teaching and Learning is like a rhizome structure that spreads out deep and wide.

    Deeper Dive Instructional Guide: Inclusive Teaching and Learning

    Explore more resources in this self-paced Canvas course.

    screen capture of video still of Shane Whalley explaining pronoun use

    Pronoun Use

    Check out our teaching tip on using pronouns in the classroom, featuring social justice educator and consultant Shane Whalley, LMSW. For more on pronoun use, visit our Effective Syllabus page to download our sample syllabus template, and check out UT's Gender and Sexuality Center to download their pronoun guide.

    Screen-capture of CMHC's video on well-being in learning environments

    Texas Well-being

    With a Hogg Foundation Grant, the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center developed a set of resources on promoting well-being in learning environments.