Teaching Diverse Learners

Session Plan for Shoptalk


Classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse and there are various perspectives as to how best to respond. The diversity of learners requires flexible and responsive teaching approaches to provide support to all learners equally.

In this one-and a half hour hands-on workshop you will discuss teaching methods and strategies relating to the building of inclusive and equitable academic learning environments. Based on interest and needs, participants will compile strategies targeted to their own specific teaching contexts.



For ACTIVITY 2, you will access an online Toolkit that introduces different aspects for you to consider when designing a course to meet the needs of people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and learning styles.

In ACTIVITY  3, you will access the UDL Guidelines Website, a tool designed “to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. […] These guidelines offer a set of concrete suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities.


Activity 1: Participants elaborate on question: What constitutes diversity in your own classrooms? Give a few examples.

Activity 2:  Participants look at the U of L Accessibility of Education toolkit to identify what areas of diversity they want to address in their courses.

Activity 3: Universal Design for Learning Activity

Step 1: Participants look at the UDL infograph and discuss components in conjunction with one of their current teaching resources.

Step 2: Collect a 1-2 strategies to implement into their teaching to be more inclusive.


ACCESS SUGGESTED RESOURCES: Feel free to explore the other aspects of the topic by browsing the suggested resources below.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Rao, K., & Meo, G. (2016). Using Universal Design for Learning to Design Standards-Based Lessons. SAGE Open. Acess the article here. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework can be used to proactively design lessons that address learner variability.


Web Accessibility ONLINE COURSE:

created by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD university. Access the course here

This course focuses on developing an understanding of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). WCAG 2.0 describes how to make Web sites that are accessible to everyone.
Learning Styles/ Preferences BOOK CHAPTER

Palloff, R. M. & Pratt, K. (2013). Lessons from the virtual classrooms: The realities of online teaching.  Read Part 2. Chapter 7 provided as an excerpt in our Moodle course accessible here.

The authors discuss ways in which instructors can work effectively with adult online learners including the consideration of different learning styles.

Anderson, D.M., & Haddad, C.J. (2005). Gender, voice and learning in online course environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(1), 3-14. Access the article here.

The article presents the results of a survey that compared expression of voice, control over learning, and perceived deep learning outcomes in face-toface versus online course environments.



Gender Considerations in Online Learning. Acess Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

The website postings examine gender consideration in online learning.


Culture ARTICLE:

Richter, T. & Zelenkauskaite, A. (2014). Culture, gender and Technology-enhanced Learning: Female and Male Students’ Perceptions across Three Continents. International Conference e-Learning 2014. Access the article here.

The authors combine theory with practical recommendations for the facilitation of inclusive online learning among diverse learners.

Palloff, R. M.  & Pratt, K. (2003). Gender, Culture, Lifestyle and Geography. IN: The Virtual Student: A Profile and Guide to Working with Online Learners. Jossey Bass. Ch. 4 pp. 39 – 50. Access the excerpt in our Moodle course by clicking here.

The authors combine theory with practical recommendations for the facilitation of inclusive online learning among diverse learners.


Indigenous Online Learning ARTICLE:

McLoughlin, C., & Oliver, R. (2000). Designing learning environments for cultural inclusivity: A case study of indigenous online learning at tertiary level. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 16(1). Access the article here.

In this paper, the authors trace the design processes involved in the development of an online learning environment for indigenous Australian learners preparing to enter university, and account for the cultural issues that impacted on creation of learning tasks and styles of communication. 



Steven Downes. (Oct 9, 2019). Summary of Presentation: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age for Indigenous Learners Summary. Retrieved October 10, 2019 from Half an Hour-Website.

In their conference presentation at the 2019 ICDE World Online Learning Conference, the presenters talked about an online program offered at Athabasca University geared towards increasing managerial capacity for First Nations communities and the challenges arising for the indigenous students which aren’t typical for them in a more traditional academic environment.
Class Size ARTICLE:

Orellana, A. (2006). Class Size and Interaction in Online Courses. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 7(3), 229-248. Access the article here.

This article presents findings of a study conducted to determine instructors’ perceptions of optimal class sizes for online courses with different levels of interaction.


Learner Support Services ARTICLE:

Ludwig-hardman, S., & Dunlap, J. C. (2003). Learner Support Services for Online Students: Scaffolding for success. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(1). Access the article here

The authors consider a learner support services program a critical component of an effective retention program for online students is. 
Engaging the Online Learner BOOK CHAPTER:

Conrad, R, M., & Donaldson, A. (2004). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Read Chapters 1 and 2  

The authors describe what engaged learning in online settings can look like and how to design learning activities for it.
Building Trusting Relationships ARTICLE:

Hasinoff, A. Do you trust your students? Hybrid Pedagogy, August 22, 2018. Access the article here.

The author explores how trust influences your teaching interactions with students.

Baker, R., Dee, T., Evans, B., & John, J. (2018). Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a
Field Experiment (CEPA Working Paper No.18-03). Retrieved from Stanford Center for Education Policy
Analysis. Access the article here

The authors test for the presence of race and gender biases among postsecondary students and instructors in online classes by measuring student and instructor responses to discussion comments.
Technology Choices WEBSITE:

Watters, Audrey. “Teaching Machines, or How the automation of education became “personalised learning’.” Hack Education. October 20, 2018. Acess the article here.

The author explores the question how technology choices impact the relationships with (online) students.


SHARE RESOURCES THAT YOU FIND: If you come across any other valuable resources, please share them with us on this collaborative ETHERPAD document, which you can access anonymously by clicking the anonymous button as suggested in the screenshot below.


CAST (2018). Universal design for learning guidelines version 2.2 [graphic organizer]. Wakefield, MA: Author. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org/more/downloads


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