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Inclusive Teaching

Pandemic Resilient Teaching

At the center of a meaningful and engaging educational experience for UC San Diego students is inclusive teaching. Regardless of course modality, it is important to continue to take into consideration a learning experience that is inclusive, provides accessible content, and promotes integrity. Our students' access to course materials and their trust in an honest, fair, and respectful classroom continue to be critical in the learning experience and how they perceive the learning environment.

Innovations that have supported inclusive remote instruction are valuable instructional assets in our return to campus. Instructors are encouraged to consider how to leverage what worked from their remote instructional experiences as they return to in-person and/or hybrid instruction. Below are considerations for teaching in ways that remain conscious of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on students and instructors.



Inclusive Teaching Strategies
Strategy Tips for Implementing

Why does it work?

Create a welcoming community

Remote Classroom

A welcoming community can be expressed in a recorded video (via Kaltura) by the instructor and through a group discussion board on Canvas, written on the course syllabus, and facilitated through an activity with students on the first day of class.  

Create breakout rooms to engage students in a discussion about community expectations.

Face to Face Classroom

Consider using powerpoint, for example, to share what community means to you or an example of when you felt welcomed in a community through story-telling. Model these examples for students to follow. 

Randomly place students in groups and facilitate a discussion about community expectations.

A welcoming community promotes a sense of belonging, clear expectations for engagement and for students interacting with one another, and allows for students to get to know each other.

Include a statement of inclusion

Any Classroom Setting

Express your belief that students will have a rich and meaningful classroom experience with students of diverse backgrounds through a statement of inclusion on the course syllabus, and address it during the first day of class and periodically during discussions when students share personal ideas and experiences related to course topics.

A statement of inclusion holds you accountable to “create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus in which students, faculty, and staff can thrive.”

Ensure access to technology

Remote Classroom

A synchronous and  asynchronous course is simple and manageable in structure and content is equitably accessible .

Be considerate of students’ time zones, and of on-going life circumstances impacted by the pandemic. 

Try to avoid high performance technology, and consider low cost and students’ familiarity with technology products. Learn about equity in technology.

See an anonymous survey to better know students’ access to technology.

Face to Face Classroom

In advance, learn about students’ access to technology through an anonymous survey , and apply this information to conduct in-class activities.

Make in class exercises accessible to all students. For example, pair students without a laptop with students who have one. 

Learning about your students in advance via an anonymous survey and referring them to a variety of tools that they can use in your course, communicates teaching flexibility and that students will have equal access to course content and activities. 

It also provides the course instructor with important information about student needs and availability for course planning purposes.

Support students’ diverse learning

Remote Classroom

Apply principles and tips related to Universal Design for Learning to reach students with a broad spectrum of ability.

Face to Face Classroom

Apply useful guides for active learning to support students’ learning.

Any Classroom Setting

Administer an early feedback survey to students to learn strengths, challenges, and concerns in your course.

Applying multiple modes to reach students’ ways of learning allows students to leverage their strengths to demonstrate learning.

Collecting and responding to student feedback demonstrates concern for their learning, your teaching flexibility, and your dedication to improve as an educator.

Offer office hours

Any Classroom Setting

Administer an early feedback survey to students to learn strengths, challenges, and concerns in your course.

Continue to offer office hours remotely , even if you are on campus. Students who are unable to come back to campus, due to an off-campus job for example, could benefit from remote office hours. 

  • Explain the purpose of office hours.
  • Provide examples of how students can use office hours.
  • Offer students to come in pairs to limit intimidation.
  • Make office hours consistent so students remember when they are offered.

Office hours offer you a chance to learn about your students’ learning experience, for students to work through course questions with you, and to ask questions they prefer to ask in office hours rather than in class.

Share student-centered resources

Remote Classroom

Build a syllabus with helpful resources, and periodically mention them in class when students share personal ideas and experiences related to course content.

Respond to current events that affect students’ academic experience and wellbeing.

Face to Face Classroom

Continue to build a syllabus with student-centered resources .

Continue to respond to  current events to support the whole student. For example, at the beginning of class ask, “You may have heard that [name of event] has occurred. I want to take a moment to ask, ‘how are you?’” Let students share their thoughts.

Recognize that students’ success and retention are dependent on the degree to which their total self is supported.

Returning to campus to teach and learn does not eliminate students of color who have disproportionately been impacted by the pandemic.


Accessible Teaching Strategies
Strategy Tips for Implementing

Why does it work?

Share the course syllabus

Remote Classroom

Design a syllabus that is student-centered and that communicates clear expectations.

The syllabus will exemplify accessibility in online classrooms by demonstrating POUR (perceivable, operable, understandable, robust). Learn about POUR .

Share the syllabus with students via Canvas to allow students time to review it.

Use Canvas discussion board for students to offer suggestions, comments, or ask questions. And, respond to their comments and questions.

Face to Face Classroom

Design your course syllabus.

If your course is hybrid , the syllabus should clearly and specifically illustrate expectations for remote and in-person class work.

Share the syllabus with students in advance of the first class, and offer them a chance to respond to it via suggestions, comments, or questions.

Spend a good portion of the first class to go over the syllabus, and to respond to their questions and comments.

Proactively designing a course with content that is accessible supports students’ diverse learning abilities.

Design accessible materials

Remote Classroom

On Canvas, share information on how content is accessible, especially for students with disabilities; for example, screen reader tools.

Face to Face Classroom

Created by and available on, refer to this video on making your course universally accessible.

Proactively designing a course with content that is accessible to students with disabilities is an equitable practice and ensures their success.

Help students navigate accessible content

Any Classroom Setting

Share resources available to students with disabilities and explore resources available to faculty supporting students with disabilities.

Resources made widely known to students supports an equitable learning experience. 

Being aware of resources for faculty supports your teaching experience.


Integrity Teaching Strategies
Strategy Tips for Implementing

Why does it work?

Build community guidelines

Remote Classroom

Starting early, supporting asynchronous discussion, and getting to know your students are a few ways to build community. Learn additional tips.

Face to Face Classroom

During the first class,  talk about the value of community through real-life experiences,  ways you have built community, or through illustrations. Invite students to share examples of community, once you have provided an example.

Invite students to contribute to course content ( see examples).

Students in community with one another and with faculty contribute to a sense of belonging, satisfaction with their major, and retention rates.

Foster academic integrity

Remote Classroom  

Communicate academic integrity expectations to students.

Exercise ways to enhance integrity in technology.

Face to Face Classroom

Promote academic integrity and remind students to produce authentic work .

Include a statement of academic integrity in the course syllabus and communicate how integrity will be fostered in the course. Learn to foster academic integrity

List academic support services on the syllabus.

Students and faculty have a shared responsibility to promote integrity in the classroom. Talking explicitly about what integrity means in your course can reduce cheating temptations and opportunities, and help students understand that integrity is part of their responsibility as a member of our academic community.