Inclusive Syllabus Language

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This Inclusive Teaching resource offers sample language written in an inclusive manner that instructors may adopt and adapt for your own syllabus. Particular attention is paid to discussion guidelines that can be used to communicate to students your expectations on how they approach material and one another in the classroom. The examples demonstrate how inclusive pedagogical practices can be implemented in syllabus construction.

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Inventory of Inclusive Teaching Strategies

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This resource is an inventory of 50 concrete strategies for building an inclusive class. The Inventory focuses on four course components: student-instructor interaction, student-student interaction, content, and instructional practices. Instructors can use the list to consider what strategies they may already be taking toward an inclusive pedagogy, what strategies they may like to implement, what strategies they would like to investigate further, and what strategies may not work for them or their classroom. This resource is best used during the planning stage of a course or while reflecting on the successes and failures of a completed course, but many of the strategies could be implemented at any point of the semester.

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Icebreaker Grab Bag

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Icebreakers are typically quick, low-stakes activities that encourage students to become more familiar with their peers. Many instructors do an ice-breaker on the first days of class to learn students’ names. However, frequent use of icebreakers on a daily or weekly basis can assist in building community as your students come to know one another better. Having all students speak and participate at the beginning of each class can also positively impact overall participation in classroom discussion. This collection of icebreakers provides a variety of activities to choose from and implement throughout the semester.

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Web of Connectedness

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In this activity, the class sits in a circle while the facilitator poses a discussion question or questions. A ball of yarn, twine, or string is passed to each person who speaks. After a participant speaks, they hold on to part of the string and pass or toss the ball to the next speaker. By the discussion’s end, the string will form a web between the students, showing who spoke. This can be used as an icebreaker activity with a low-stakes question like “what is your favorite hobby?” or to track the discussion of more course-centric topics.

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