Every Learner Everywhere

Learn Practical Strategies for Using Digital Tools to Promote Equity in the Classroom

During January 2022, Every Learner Everywhere and its network partners conducted its second Strategies for Success workshop series, which is designed to be an evergreen resource for higher education faculty who want to promote equity in the classroom with engaging and evidence-based use of digital learning tools.

The 2021 launch of Strategies for Success was designed to support educators at a time when the shift to remote learning was still fresh. Norma Hollebeke, Manager of Network Programs and Services for Every Learner Everywhere, says that a year later, there remains a high demand for introductory training around digital tools and online learning.

“We’re still in flux as to how much colleges and universities are going remote, going face to face, or somewhere in between,” says Hollebeke. “Faculty have to be flexible around that and will probably be using more digital learning resources going forward. And in any case, there’s a growing awareness of how equity for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and poverty-affected students is impacted by classroom practices and course design. The workshop series provides the tools and support faculty need.”

The 2022 Strategies for Success series, as well as the 2021 series, are available to watch on demand.

Professional development for all higher ed faculty

Hollebeke notes that while the emphasis of the Strategies for Success series is on online teaching and learning, these webinars are applicable to all educators who are using a digital resource in their classroom, whether that is face to face, completely remote, or some kind of hybrid.

That’s because today’s students are used to a certain level of technology as part of their education, says Hollebeke. “Pedagogically, we need to adapt to what students expect without losing the focus on the content.”

Hollebeke is especially interested in reaching contingent faculty with the webinars, because many of them don’t have the same professional development opportunities that permanent faculty do.

Additionally, many gateway courses are being taught by adjuncts. Gateway courses are key when it comes to influencing the outcomes of minoritized students, which means that supporting faculty for those courses to confront and reduce barriers to equity is especially critical.

Practical tools to address equity in the classroom 

The theme of the 2022 Strategies for Success webinar series was using digital tools and evidence-based teaching practice to promote equity in the classroom. 

Shifting to remote learning at the beginning of the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the system, notes Hollebeke, especially when it comes to online learning for minoritized students. Educators need both high-level strategy and tactical ideas for implementing tools in the classroom. 

The webinar topics were chosen to provide faculty with specific examples and with tools and resources they can integrate immediately. 

“Faculty want to be innovative,” says Hollebeke. “They want not only technology tools, but pedagogy they know will help their students. But they’re overburdened. These webinars were designed as mini bites of professional development so they can focus on student success.”

Highlights from the Strategies for Success series include:

An ongoing series for continuing success

Hollebeke hopes the recorded Strategies for Success webinars will be evergreen resources for faculty working to improve their course design and teaching practices. But she also recommends experiencing them live when possible, since direct discussion with the workshop leaders has been valuable.

Her plans for future workshops is to make them even more interactive, with facilitators available for small breakout groups working on specific challenges and participants learning from their peers.

Don’t miss upcoming professional development events:

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