by Julie Dodd
Recognizing and incorporating diversity in your courses and your teaching strategies is important for 21st Century educators.
Diversity is more than racial, ethnic, gender and age differences. The National Education Association provides this definition:
Diversity can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. The dimensions of diversity include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class, and immigration status.… While diversity itself is not a value-laden term, the way that people react to diversity is driven by values, attitudes, beliefs, and so on. Full acceptance of diversity is a major principle of social justice.
Nicole Dan and I talked about diversity in course design when she assisted me with creating materials for the online version of Multimedia Writing (JOU3109). She had been a top student in the face-to-face version of that course and had taken several online courses herself. I wanted to have her input as I repurposed my classroom version of the course into making an online course. She would provide a helpful student perspective and also her own views on how diversity is recognized in a learning situation.