3 Key Takeaways: DEI and the Design Process

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SNHU and Suffolk U share their perspectives for being intentional with DEI and the learning experience

Jada Hebra, the Chief Diversity Officer at Southern New Hampshire University and Dr. Joyya Smith, the VP of Diversity, Access and Inclusion at Suffolk University recently discussed their insights and experiences regarding intentionality around diversity, equity and inclusion during a webinar hosted by Ease Learning. 

Facilitated by Ease Learning CEO, Laurie Pulido, the conversation examined the relationships between learning design and DEI, addressing challenges and providing the audience with real examples and actionable strategies to support institutional alignment around DEI, including: 

Institutional Alignment Around DEI

Institution-wide DEI initiatives are challenging due to the need for a mindset shift, a comprehensive plan, and meaningful data for improvement. An institutional framework, focusing on professional development, curriculum, accessibility, and community building, is essential for supporting institution-wide DEI.

Learning Design & DEI

Intentional learning design should consider learners from the onset to ensure inclusivity, engagement, and support. Incorporating the student voice creates a more inclusive learning environment. Ease Learning’s DEI Rubric for Equitable Course Design is a valuable resource when considering strategies to evaluate and revise current courses to intentionally incorporate DEI. 

Supporting Facilitators 

An inclusive online learning environment requires intentional facilitation. Giving students a voice and managing ongoing collaborative discussions is significantly different from delivering a lecture to students. Faculty must receive ongoing training and feel empowered to facilitate this type of environment. Strategies discussed to support facilitators included backwards design and creating collaborative communities of practice for facilitators.

Watch Now On Demand

Watch the complete webinar to learn about additional strategies for creating inclusive and welcoming learning environments, including:

  • Building community

  • Fostering dialogue

  • Normalizing the need for help and support

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Associate Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at Northeastern University

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