Advancing EDI in Online Teaching and Learning Environments

A webpage that discusses the importance of and includes strategies for anticipating and preparing for challenges in the Zoom classroom to help alleviate problematic behaviours that detract from student learning.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Chat room - hurtful comments
      • Breakout rooms - disruptive behaviour
      • Whiteboards - inappropriate annotations
      • Lecture-time - problematic behaviour
    2. Want to learn more?

      Reducing Disruptive Behaviour

      Good Etiquette

      8 Ways to be more inclusive in your Zoom teaching

      Creating a positive classroom climate for diversity

      Critical practices for anti-bias education classroom culture: Honouring student experience

    A news article explaining three strategies to stay well and healthy during the pandemic including prioritizing self-care, being intentional about your news intake and avoiding Zoom fatigue.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Decreased student engagement
      • Lack of motivation
      • Inequity issues heightened due to financial and technological constraints
      • Lower assessment scores
      • Increased anxiety
    2. Want to learn more?

      Working and studying from home with children during COVID-19

      Mental Health Tips for Working from Home

      COVID-19 safety guide for students on campus

      Move to online learning highlights need for positive learning spaces

      The shift to remote learning: The human element

      Guide to Student Mental Health During Covid-19

      Campus mental health in times of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    A handbook developed by the Werklund school of Education with instructions and advice on how to use Zoom.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      Zoom can be used to teach, facilitate synchronous sessions for graduate exams and conduct meetings with teams and students.

    2. Want to learn more?

      Zoom Toolbar

      Breakout rooms 

      Guidelines for Exam Neutral Chair

      Student Screen-sharing for Presentations

      Pre-assigning Participants to Zoom Breakout Rooms

      Zoom Video Tutorials

    A landing page explaining what Zoom is and popular topics associated with Zoom such as creating an account, scheduling a meeting, sharing a screen and recommended settings.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      Zoom is the campus online platform that enables instructors and faculty to have online real-time sessions with their students or colleagues.

    2. Want to learn more?

      Ucalgary IT Knowledge Base - Zoom User Guide

      Tips & Tricks: Teachers Educating on Zoom

      Zoom Video Tutorials

    Learning modules are self-directed online modules consisting of lessons learners can work through at their own pace. 

    Lesson 2 recommends using the Community of Inquiry model to create an inclusive and accessible learning environment.

    Lesson 3 focuses on writing learning outcomes that incorporate the affective domain (feelings, emotions, and attitudes).

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      In Lesson 2, community is created in an online course by establishing a safe space for introductions, learning, activities that promote sharing and being present and engaged.

      In Lesson 3, including the affective domain in learning outcomes leads to a course that is open to receive, respond, and value student experiences, personal opinions, and belief systems.

    2. Want to learn more?

      Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education

      Community of Inquiry Framework

      An Inclusive Classroom Framework: Resources, Onboarding Approach, and Ongoing Programs

      Inclusive Pedagogy in Higher Education

      Course Alignment

      Writing Learning Outcomes/Objectives

      Bloom’s Taxonomy: Affective Domain

      Bloom’s Taxonomy (Affective Domain) - Video 

      What are the characteristics of well-stated learning goals?

    This guide shows how applying a Universal Design for Learning framework can help guide the design of courses and learning environments to appeal to the largest number of learners while maintaining flexibility in how instructional material is presented, how students demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and in how they are engaged in learning.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      The guide introduces three UDL principles to consider prior to designing a course.

      1. Provide multiple means of engagement
      2. Provide multiple means of representation
      3. Provide multiple means of action and expression

      Considering the above principles can help promote equitable student learning opportunities that reduce student learning barriers.  

    2. Want to learn more?

      Learning Module: Developing Online Courses, Lesson 2 - Foster an Inclusive and Accessible Learning Environment

      Engaging Learners in  Online Environments Utilizing Universal Design for Learning Principles

      UDL in Higher Ed

      Q&A Making Sense of Universal Design for Learning

    An article that shares learnings from Indigenization and Teaching: A Workshop on Pedagogies, Protocols, and Worldviews presented facilitated by Jennifer Ward, an educational developer in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Exploring Indigenization in university classrooms
      • Teaching and learning from an Indigenous worldview
      • Working with and learning alongside Indigenous Peoples
    2. Want to learn more?

      Decolonization - Werklund Teaching and Learning  Indigenous Education Resources

      Colonization - Werklund Teaching and Learning - Indigenous Education Resources

      Decolonizing Pedagogies

      Dr. Marie Battiste, Knowledge as a key site for decolonization

      The Journey

    This website provides a curated list of multiple resources that focus on strategies and guidelines for teaching controversial issues and topics in the classroom.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Creating a safe learning environment for students to bring their own lived experiences and perspectives to topics and issues discussed in class.
      • Establishing critical reflection skills and shared understanding.
      • Reframing and redirecting harmful reactions into helpful dialogue based on mutual respect and curiosity.
    2. Want to learn more?

      Workshop helps instructors handle controversial issues in classrooms

      Teaching Controversial Issues: Deepening Engagement and Critical Thinking Webinar

      James Baldwin’s Lesson for Teachers in a Time of Turmoil

      Managing controversy in the online classroom

      Strategies for Discussing Religion in Secular Studies Classes

    A web page that introduces a variety of alternative assessments that encourage students to apply knowledge and demonstrate evidence of their learning in creative ways.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Uses multiple approaches to assess learning that align with course learning outcomes
      • Increases student choice and motivation
      • Promotes application of knowledge
      • Encourages interdisciplinary learning and diversifies teaching strategies
      • Assessments can be scaffolded for a sustained learning experience
      • Opportunities for student self-assessment and peer review
    2. Want to learn more?

      Alternative assessment strategies for large enrolment classes

      Learning Module: Designing Online Assessments (Lesson 5)

      Best Practices: Alternative Assessments, Ryerson University

      Principles and Practices of Student Assessment: UCalgary Case Studies

    An overview of ePortfolios, which can be used as part of an inclusive assessment strategy or to help students engage with their learning and long term identity formation.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • ePortfolios are a means of promoting student agency, engagement with class and helping students to form identities.
      • Individualizing assessment helps reduce opportunities for academic misconduct.
    2. Want to learn more?

      E-Portfolios: Best Practices for Use in Higher Education

      Creating a Microsoft Sway ePortfolio

      Electronic portfolios and learner identity: an ePortfolio case study in music and writing

      Deconstructing the Notion of ePortfolio as a ‘High-Impact Practice’: A Self-Study and Comparative


    Guidelines for faculty and students on how to develop and support a positive and effective learning environment using Zoom sessions.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Ensuring video conferencing connections with sufficient quality for all participants to see and understand the material being shared.
      • Creating  manageable classroom interactions.
      • Minimizing interruptions, distractions and inappropriate behaviours.
    2. Want to learn more?

      Tips & Tricks: Teachers Educating on Zoom

      Inclusive Teaching in Zoom

      In-meeting security options

      Suspend Participant Activities in Zoom

    Resources to help students handle potential disruptions to their classes and to create a community of active bystanders to help resolve disruptive situations.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      • Often students can be more aware of issues happening in class than you can be while teaching.
      • Empowering them to be active community builders helps helps improve everyone's class experience.
    2. Want to learn more?

      Be An Active Bystander

      Student Conduct Office - Training (includes active bystander training)

      UCalgary Recognizing Acts of Bystander Intervention Online

      Zoom Fatigue Is Real: Students Share Their Experiences Of Online Classes

      How to Overcome Classroom Zoom Fatigue

    This article provides a guide for developing a syllabus that assists with the integration of EDI as an opportunity for faculty to communicate their philosophy, expectations, requirements, and other course information.

    1. How does it show up in our classes?

      The article recommends that instructors “reflect on the ways that the syllabus can reflect the tone for their classroom environment” (p. 71).

      Considerations include:

      1. Engage in reflexivity
      2. Adopt a diversity-centered approach
      3. Highlight diversity in the course description and acknowledge intersectionality
      4. Develop diversity-centered learning objectives
      5. Include a diversity statement
      6. Decolonize the syllabus
      7. Foster a family-friendly syllabus
      8. Establish ground rules for communication
    2. Want to learn more?

      Setting Up Positive Learning Environments in Zoom

      Family-Friendly Syllabi Examples

      Inclusive Syllabus Language

      Six Principles of an Inclusive Syllabus Design

    Related content

    Five Principles for Meaningful Online Assessment


    Learning Module: Designing Online Assessments