Embracing Diversity and Advancing Inclusion in the Online Learning Environment
Presented by Trevor Cox and Melody Edwards, University of Central Oklahoma
While much attentions has been given to the importance of diversity and inclusion on campus and in the classroom, little attention has been paid to how inclusion is enacted in the online learning environment (Goldstein Hode, Behm-Morawitz, & Hays, 2018). Which raises the question: “Are the issues of diversity and equality online the same as those in conventional learning environments?”(Hughes 709-710).
This session will explore important principles of inclusion online, based on a research project currently being conducted. The session will be geared around the main themes and principles of inclusive online education. Some preliminary themes are: the tension between anonymity vs. students sharing important aspects of themselves and flexibility and adaptation to student needs in the online learning environment. Rather than just offering techniques which may or may not translate to participants’ context, the session will be workshop style where principles and techniques can be discussed. By offering principles along with techniques, participants can generate ideas based on their colleagues’ innovative work that would translate to their own unique contexts. The session will explore the key themes in the literature, the presenters will share how they have put these into practice in their own online classrooms, and then participants will group themselves by theme and explore ideas about how they currently enact the theme, or ways they could put it into practice for the future. In this session participants will be able to: Identify research-based principles for creating inclusion in online environments, discuss and critique current techniques being applied in current classroom, and create ways to apply the principles to their own context