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Inclusive Teaching Studio: What Does Your Syllabus Say About Your Course?

November 17 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Teaching inclusively involves supporting the success of a diverse mix of learners, with different social identities, life experiences and ways of knowing. A key aspect of inclusive teaching is supporting student’s sense of belonging within a program of study and within a discipline. Your course syllabus is a representation of all of the thought and design that you’ve already put into the course, but how does that translate to students? As the syllabus is often the first point of contact students will have with you (the instructor), what do you want your syllabus to say about your course? Does your syllabus convey your commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion, and in what ways does it support diverse groups of students?

In this studio session, you will work on revisions to one of your current course syllabi. We will recap some best practices for learner-centred and inclusive syllabus preparation, and have examples of inclusive syllabi to share. We will unpack some of the hidden assumptions on a traditional syllabus, aspects that exclude certain students (such as when mode of delivery, office hours, textbooks and course materials are described). Considering who your students are can help you describe these various features and set diverse learners up for success from the very beginning. You will have the opportunity to revise aspects of your syllabus, such as your introduction to the course and the teaching team, your use of equity and diversity statements including land acknowledgements, and your description of course assignments.

In this hands-on workshop session, you will:
– Assess aspects of one of your course syllabi for hidden assumptions
– Review exemplar syllabi for ideas to borrow into your own syllabus
– Write and draft revised sections of text for your syllabus
– Advance your commitments to inclusive teaching through your course syllabus

This session is not an introduction to inclusive teaching practices, and participants should have prior foundational knowledge of why equity, diversity and inclusion are important principles within the teaching and learning context.

NOTE: There is a preparatory reflection activity to be completed in advance of the workshop. This activity will support you in assessing your current syllabus and in refining your goals for the workshop. We expect this activity to take you no longer than one hour. The instructions for the activity will be emailed to you a few days in advance of the workshop.

Facilitators:
– Will Engle, Strategist for Open Education Initiatives, CTLT
– Hailan Chen, Educational Consultant, Learning Design, CTLT
– Sue Hampton, Educational Consultant, CTLT