Affirming Student Identity and Fostering Inclusive Remote Classrooms

Affirming Student Identity and Fostering Inclusive Remote Classrooms

At the center of an inclusive classroom is a recognition and validation of students’ lived experiences. Beyond the responsibility to create an equitable learning environment, creating an inclusive classroom can have tangible effects on learning gains. When students can construct knowledge from a place of personal significance, motivation and engagement are positively impacted. However, it is not always clear how course content and structure can connect to personal identity. In a remote teaching environment, the disconnected nature of instruction makes these types of validations even more challenging.

In this interactive workshop, participants will see examples of the types of activities I use to affirm student identity within an introductory chemistry course and how these methods were adapted for online teaching. We will then discuss the impact of this type of student engagement and the additional challenges presented by remote instruction. Finally, participants will reflect on their own course content and develop strategies to affirm identity within their own courses.

Workshop Objectives

Recognize the potential of integrating identity affirmation into curricula.
Describe additional challenges presented by remote instruction.
Construct authentic, course-specific goals that integrate students' lived experiences to the curriculum.
Develop strategies to enact identity development goals in a course.  
Specify strategies that address the challenges presented in remote instruction.
Create a plan to evaluate success of identity development in a course.

(No Cap)

Workshop Facilitator: 

Stephanie Knezz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Instruction and Co-Director of the General Chemistry Labs, Northwestern University