“The beauty of inclusive pedagogy is that, rather than making special accommodations that would decrease equity, it actually benefits all students, not just those at whose needs it was originally aimed. So what is inclusive pedagogy? It is a mind-set, a teaching-and-learning worldview, more than a discrete set of techniques.”
– Keith Gannon, history professor and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Grand View University
This toolkit was designed to help you assess and consider the needs of your students so that your classroom can be an inviting space in which real learning can happen. While the strategies and tools provided here can certainly guide you in becoming more inclusive, it is important to note – as Gannon points out in the citation above – that inclusive pedagogy is a mindset and a way of thinking. Inclusion must be intentional because it requires us to reevaluate our personal values and perspectives and, in some cases, challenges traditional notions of teaching and learning. To effectively implement the strategies in this guide, instructors must be self-reflective and open to change where needed. The final section of this toolbox will provide some ideas for reflecting on student feedback, as well as a bibliography for further reading to help you in your journey. As previously mentioned, please check back regularly for updates.
Strategies for Self-Reflection
After you have completed your course, submitted your grades, gathered your student evaluations, and compiled any ongoing feedback from your students, it is important to take time to reflect on the course. This reflective process will help you identify key considerations for enhancing your course and your overall teaching practice both in the immediate term, and over time.
The following are some tips for how to interpret student evaluation feedback and use it to positively guide your instruction.
- Find time to sit down and digest the feedback. If you feel comfortable doing so, get a trusted colleague to walk through your evaluations with you.
- Look for patterns and trends. At times, it is helpful to make a chart to help you visualize the feedback. Instructor Penny MacCormack offers a metacognitive approach to analyzing student feedback that can be found on the ACUE community website.
- Take into account outside factors that might affect your responses (e.g., class sizes, classroom setup, etc.).
- Put into practice useful suggestions from students and be transparent about it the following semester.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself if you get negative feedback. Everyone gets negative feedback at some point in their careers, and learning how to be inclusive is a process. Instead, focus on how you can use the feedback to help you improve.
- Student evaluations are not the only measure of teaching effectiveness. Peer observations can also help. Think about how you might incorporate them for the next semester.
- Contact TLI for additional support in the form of one-on-one consultations, classroom observations, and student evaluation analysis.
If you decided to capture additional forms of student feedback or keep a teaching journal, these materials may help you both contextualize the feedback in your student evaluations and draw larger inferences about your teaching and overall professional practice. Consider reflecting upon all of these collectively. If you were not able to engage in these activities, simply spend some time reflecting on your course as a whole.
Some additional questions you might reflect upon include the following:
- If you have additional student feedback or have kept a teaching journal, how does this additional “evidence” relate to the feedback you received in your student evaluations?
- Are there specific assignments or assessments that stand out as being particularly helpful? Were there any that stand out as being potentially confusing or problematic? What about these activities may have made them helpful or problematic?
- How did what you learned about your students in the first few weeks of class influence the way you approached your interactions with them throughout? What can you learn about yourself from your interactions with your students, both as individuals and as a class?
- What incidents stood out to you? What about these incidents do you remember, and why were they noteworthy? What can you learn from them?
- What do you consider the biggest overall successes of the course, and what were the biggest challenges?
- What have you learned about yourself over the life of this course, and how can you draw upon this learning in framing your professional goals?
- Does your teaching have implications for your research, and if so, what are these implications? How can you expound upon these?
- Are there implications for your department or program curriculum or culture that seem apparent? If so, how do you perceive these implications? How might you articulate them for the benefit of your program or department?
Works Cited & Bibliography for Further Reading
The following are resources cited throughout this Toolbox, as well as additional materials that can help you learn more about developments in research on inclusive teaching. Please check back frequently for updates.
Addressing Common Challenges. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://cetl.kennesaw.edu/addressing-common-challenges
Armstrong, P. (2018, July 12). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/
Bowman, N. A. (2011). Promoting Participation in a Diverse Democracy. Review of Educational Research,81(1), 29-68. doi:10.3102/0034654310383047
Braden, S., & Smith, D. (2006). Managing the College Classroom: Perspectives from an Introvert and an Extrovert.Retrieved January 25, 2018, from http://collegequarterly.ca/2006-vol09-num01-winter/braden_smith.html
Calhoon, S., & Becker, A. (2008). How Students Use the Course Syllabus. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,2(1). doi:10.20429/ijsotl.2008.020106
Carnevale, A., Smith, N., Melton, M., & Price, E. (2015). Learning While Earning: The New Normal. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/workinglearners/
Cavendar, A. (2010, May 13). Modeling Civility and Use of Evidence in the Classroom.Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/modeling-civilityuse-of-evidence-in-the-classroom/23980
Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Tennessee at Knoxville. (2011). Annual population projections for Tennessee by age, sex, and race/ethnicity: 2011 to 2064. Change, 2001, 33(6), 20–27. [Data file]. Retrieved from http://cber.haslam.utk.edu/popproj.htm
Complete Tennessee. (2017). Beneath the Surface: The State of Higher Education in Tennessee. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56cf531db6aa6036fa14e1f8/t/5a2f284a24a694abf96ca2f8/1513040124477/Beneath the Surface_State of Higher Education in Tennessee_2017.pdf
Crisp, R. J., & Meleady, R. (2012). Adapting to a Multicultural Future. Science,336(6083), 853-855. doi:10.1126/science.1219009
Cultural Humility. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from http://www.fnha.ca/wellness/cultural-humility
Dialogue Strategies.(n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from http://difficultdialoguesuaa.org/strategies_and_resources
Education Commission of the States. (1994, November 30). Making Quality Count in Undergraduate Education. A Report for the ECS Chairman’s. Retrieved August 3, 2018, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED388208
Engberg, M. E., & Hurtado, S. (2011). Developing Pluralistic Skills and Dispositions in College: Examining Racial/Ethnic Group Differences. The Journal of Higher Education,82(4), 416-443. doi:10.1353/jhe.2011.0025
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Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences an integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey Bass – Wiley.
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