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Resource Packet: Measuring the Impact of Inclusive Teaching Efforts

Resource Packet: Measuring the Impact of Inclusive Teaching Efforts

During the 2022 Assessment Institute at IUPUI I presented the Faculty Development Track Keynote, “Inclusive Teaching: How Are We Measuring Impact?”  To support instructors, department heads, and upper administration in their next steps after the Institute, I created the guidebook linked below as a companion 

Introducing The Inclusive Teaching Visualization Project!

Introducing The Inclusive Teaching Visualization Project!

As I’ve partnered with instructors on their efforts to make their learning experiences more equitable and welcoming, I’ve observed a clear need—more resources that visualize inclusive teaching practices and facilitate reflection on instruction. After a few years of deliberation, generous feedback from and the involvement 

The Role of Instructors in Student Mental Health:  What I Learned from a Student in Crisis

The Role of Instructors in Student Mental Health: What I Learned from a Student in Crisis

As an instructor I once had an experience where a learner taught me important lessons about student mental health. The situation occurred when I was least expecting it, as I was just about to begin teaching class in a lecture hall. I was reviewing my class plans when a student approached me at the front of the room and did not seem to be doing well. They shared that they were having an extremely hard time adjusting to college. They had tears in their eyes. The shakiness of their voice and their demeanor made it apparent that the day’s class session was far from what they needed. I actively listened and affirmed the student’s feelings about how college can be a difficult transition. I was glad they felt comfortable sharing their feelings with me instead of alone in anguish. 

Given the timing of this interaction, I needed to make a quick, in the moment decision about what I could do to support my learner’s well-being, and ensure they were safe and connected to resources that could help them thrive. My role was not to be a therapist, but rather an advocate and supporter, looking out for my students. 

I told the student how they might benefit from talking with someone at the Counseling Center, a wonderful on-campus resource. I sensed that it was in their best interest to have such conversations sooner than later. I told them that I would ask a classmate to walk with them to the center – it was not too far from the classroom – and that I would check in to see how they were doing right after class. They agreed. A generous peer was more than willing to take the short trip, and I started the class a little slower than usual so that the supporting student would not miss much.

At the end of class I checked in with my learner. They shared with me how talking with a professional at the Counseling Center was very helpful and thanked me for encouraging them to go. They indicated they would likely continue going there. Over the course of the semester the student seemed to adjust better to college life.

That day my student taught me several things that I will never forget about my role as an instructor, especially when a learner is facing a mental health crisis. First, the importance of fostering a supportive environment so they would see me as someone they could reach out to. Second, that it was essential to have compassion and be inclusive of learners facing mental health challenges. Third, that my role as an instructor was not as a trained counselor, but someone who could recognize when students showed signs of distress and connect them to support structures. I also became increasingly aware that I was not alone as an instructor, and that counseling centers, advising offices, and offices of student success were also there to support my students. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health crisis has been exacerbated including within colleges and universities. Students have been experiencing more mental health challenges which have impacted academic learning environments and necessitated instructors to be even more aware of holistic teaching approaches. Not all learners will feel comfortable coming forward about the challenges they are experiencing as readily as my learner. Still, it is critical for instructors to be ready if they do, or if students show other signs of needing support. My learner taught me a lot that day, including the importance of being flexible and allowing time to ensure student well-being.

Mandatory Fail: How Course Grading Policies Can Exclude Learners

Mandatory Fail: How Course Grading Policies Can Exclude Learners

At one point in my life I took a class that had a mandatory fail policy. This meant that a line would be drawn below which certain cumulative grades would be designated as failing. Essentially, someone would fail.  This policy was very challenging for me 

You’re Too Quiet: Why Student Engagement Is More Than Talking

You’re Too Quiet: Why Student Engagement Is More Than Talking

Those who interact with me on a regular basis would not likely call me a quiet person. However, earlier in my life, this was not the case. I was much quieter in many of my interactions as a student and as an early professional.   There 

Measuring Inclusion Efforts:  Tools for Assessment, Feedback, and Reflection

Measuring Inclusion Efforts: Tools for Assessment, Feedback, and Reflection

You might be interested in reflecting on or assessing your individual inclusive teaching efforts,  or have general questions about the climate of inclusion within your department or more broadly at your institution. You may want to know which tools already exist in the literature or are otherwise available. The list below captures several of such instruments including those that examine the curriculum, instructor teaching practices, and students’ perspectives. They include surveys, rubrics, inventories, and other types of tools that can be used for assessment or reflection purposes. You might notice that the instruments vary in the factors they measure related to inclusive teaching or broader inclusive climates, and some have psychometric property information available (i.e. validity and reliability evidence) for the context in which they were developed. Please feel free to share this list, and send other instruments that can be added.

Updated: 8/29/22

Curriculum & Teaching Practices 

Surveys

Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory (ITSI)

Measures faculty attitudes and actions towards accommodations and Universal Design for Learning principles. Seven constructs include: accommodations, accessible course materials, course modifications, inclusive lecture strategies, inclusive classroom, inclusive assessment, and disability laws and concepts. Validity and reliability evidence present.

Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory – Distance Education (ITSI-DE)

Adapted from the ITSI to assess strategies used in distance learning. Validity and reliability evidence present.

Reflection Tools

Course Design

Social Justice Syllabus Design Tool

Supports instructor reflection on course syllabi. Focuses on relationship, community, and process.

Inclusion by Design: Tool Helps Faculty Examine Their Teaching Practices

Allows instructors to review the design of their course. Focuses on inclusion and course context, inclusion and “text”: syllabus and course design, inclusion and subtext.

Teaching Practices

Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Reflecting on Your Practice

Inventory that instructors can use to reflect on their inclusive teaching practices.

Inclusive Teaching Strategies Inventory

Adapted from the Inclusive Teaching Strategies: Reflecting on Your Practice tool and includes a gender equity lens.

Departmental

The PULSE Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Rubric: a Tool to Help Assess Departmental DEI Efforts

Supports STEM departments in assessing their DEI efforts and identifying areas of growth.

Comprehensive

Inclusive Teaching Higher Education Rubric

Allows educators to examine specific standards around inclusive teaching, including: faculty awareness, learning environment, course overview and syllabus, instructional materials, instructional strategies, and assessment.

Students’ Perspectives

Surveys

Institutional Environment

Diverse Learning Environments Survey

Provides insight into students’ overall perceptions of the institutional climate and campus practices.

General Sense of Belonging

Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM)

Assesses students’ perceived sense of belonging. Originally used with middle school students. Validity and reliability evidence present.

Sense of Belonging Scale (Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship)

Adapted from the Panorama Student Survey scale and sense of belonging survey developed by York (2016). Modifiable to administer at the course or departmental level.

Sense of Belonging Scale (Hoffman et al., 2002)

Measures perceived peer support, perceived faculty support/comfort, perceived classroom comfort, perceived isolation, empathetic faculty understanding. 

Departmental Sense of Belonging

Belongingness Scale

Assesses belongingness, engagement, and self-confidence more broadly, and at the department level. Validity and reliability evidence present.

Sense of Social Fit Scale

Measures students’ sense of social fit to a group (e.g. department).

Departmental Sense of Belonging and Involvement (DeSBI) (Biology Department)

Adapted from the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM). Contains three subscales: sense of belonging: valued competence, sense of belonging: social acceptance, involvement. Validity and reliability evidence present.

Engineering Department Inclusion Survey (EDIL)

Assesses student perceptions along four scales: department caring, department diversity, and department pride.

Additional Tool

Panorama Equity and Inclusion Survey

Measures experiences and actions of belonging and inclusion for students, teachers, and staff at the K-12 level. Major areas assessed are diversity and inclusion, cultural awareness and action, sense of belonging, educating all students, professional learning about equity. Validity and reliability evidence present.

The Elephant in the Room:  Tackling Personal Barriers to the Adoption of Inclusive Teaching

The Elephant in the Room: Tackling Personal Barriers to the Adoption of Inclusive Teaching

A variety of inclusive teaching resources exist including our book What Inclusive Instructors Do, but there is an elephant in the room. This elephant consists of the personal barriers that inhibit the adoption of inclusive teaching. In a study, my co-authors and I found that 

Coordinating Virtual Events: Notes & Reflections from a CTL Director (Resources)

Coordinating Virtual Events: Notes & Reflections from a CTL Director (Resources)

Are you an educational developer who will be planning a virtual event in the near future? To support your efforts, see the resources below that I shared during a webinar presentation co-sponsored by Acadiate. Click the image for the .pdf version of the document.   

A Message of Encouragement to Educational Developer Colleagues: You’re an Anchor

A Message of Encouragement to Educational Developer Colleagues: You’re an Anchor

Like a drive in an unknown territory that has multiple detours, this season of higher education has involved taking different paths for the sake of academic continuity. One group of support staff playing an important role in these efforts is educational developers. As a fellow educational developer,  I have deep gratitude and respect towards you, my colleagues who continue to provide leadership and stability in seemingly ever-changing instructional scenarios. I appreciate your continued sharing of ideas and resources and collegiality.  Your collaboration has been top-notch, and you are among the most giving people that I know. This professional culture and a love for teaching and learning is what initially drew me towards this field.

Given that teaching and learning are core components of institutional missions and activities, you will continue to make impacts that are at the heart of the institution’s core functions. You are anchors, gifting support whether or not the tides of teaching and learning change. During the pandemic, you may have found yourself moving from the sidelines to being part of the starting lineup and more integrated within the strategic efforts of your college and university. Although the tides continue to change, your anchors are strong and stable, even during the most challenging of times. Your efforts are valued.

As the tides calm down, although the storm is not yet over, reflect on the good work that you do in supporting instructors. You entered this profession for a reason. Hold onto it, and revisit it continually to stay inspired.  You are an anchor.

Three Pillars for an Empowered Return to Campus

Three Pillars for an Empowered Return to Campus

On June 23, 2021 I delivered a keynote presentation for the RECAP Conference hosted by West Chester University. In preparing for the talk, I deliberated on what would help us reflect upon what we learned over these last few years of teaching in higher education