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Building an Inclusive Class for Online Environments

Online and blended courses create specific challenges for educators developing inclusive learning environments. Design choices can alienate some students while the technology itself can be a barrier to others. While the pitfalls can seem daunting, there are a number of practices and strategies that faculty can employ that will ensure their courses are engaging and accessible to all of their students.

On this web page, we have collected and linked to resources that will provide practical recommendations and methods on inclusivity for faculty teaching in online or blended formats. We have also provided contact information and resources from Pacific who can help you create inclusive learning environments.

General Resources on Inclusive Teaching

The University of Washington has developed an excellent guide to the general strategies and teaching methods for creating an inclusive course. You can find the guide here: Inclusive teaching strategies | Center for Teaching and Learning

Another wonderful guide is The University of Michigan’s page on Creating Inclusive Classrooms. You can find this page here:

A group of students, administrators, and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences created a checklist to help faculty design inclusive and equitable courses. You can find Pacific’s Inclusive Syllabi Checklist here: Pacific’s Syllabi Checklist (Requires Box Log-in)

In the Summer of 2020, Pacific University Faculty and Staff participated in the Speak Out Summer Institute – a “virtual institute for faculty and professional staff on building equity and social justice education to create inclusive learning environments on campus and online.” We have received permission to share the session videos with the Pacific Community and you can view them on this self-enrolling Moodle site: (Requires Pacific Log-in)

Tips and Resources for Gender Inclusive Course Design

See this resource guide created by a group of students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences:

Additional Resources

Tips for gender inclusive language from The Safe Zone Project:

The Gender Book began as a zine and has evolved into a rich online resource about gender:

Resources on Inclusive Design for Online Courses

Iowa State University has created a comprehensive guide to addressing the particular issues with teaching inclusively online. You can find the page here: Equity and Inclusion in the Online Learning Environment – Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching – Iowa State University.

The Chronicle of Higher Education posted a short but excellent advice piece on being inclusive in a synchronous Zoom session. 8 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Zoom Teaching

Resources on Inclusive Design for Online Courses

The University of Washington’s renowned accessibility group DO-IT has created a Universal Design for Learning checklist for faculty and other educators in higher education. This checklist provides some concrete guidance for faculty on the ways in which you can begin applying UDL concepts to a course in higher ed. UDL Checklist. You can find it here: Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction | DO-IT

The accessibility advocacy group CAST has extensive resources on Universal Design for Learning on their website. You can find those resources here: The UiIDL Guidelines: UDL

Resources for Inclusive Teaching in the Disciplines

Resources for Inclusive Teaching in the STEM Disciplines:

Resource for Inclusive Teaching in Media Studies:

Pacific Contacts and Resources
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