To Create an Inclusive Virtual Classroom

Be Flexible, Caring, and Compassionate

  1. Approach your teaching with care and compassion – both for yourself and for your students.
  2. Assess the level of inclusion and diversity in your course. To address these issues, you may need to adjust your approach to teaching.
  3. Consider your personal biases.
  4. Be intentional in your selection of course content. Select diverse people, voices, and perspectives.
  5. Recognize the unique identity, experience, and background of each student.
  6. Create a learning community and nurture it throughout the semester. Encourage students to be respectful and present.
  7. Create an opt-in opportunity for students to share their contact info (phone, social media handles).
  8. Provide slides well in advance. Make sure that your course content is accessible for all your students.
  9. Create a space for respectful dialogue.
  10. Involve all students. Keep track of students called on.
  11. Communicate regularly with your students. Be clear, concise, and transparent.
  12. Model good listening and understanding practices, including putting yourself in your students’ shoes.
  13. Ask clarifying questions. Avoid making assumptions.
  14. Withhold any judgment until you hear the full story.
  15. Disagree kindly, even when you hold a completely different opinion.
  16. Watch for, and respond to, your students’ nonverbal cues.
  17. Use chat icons (smile, thumbs up, applause, etc.) to support your (or your students’) ideas.
  18. Reflect before you respond. Pay attention to your words.
  19. Be flexible and considerate.
  20. Quickly address challenging classroom behaviors and attitudes (microaggressions, offensive or alienating comments, etc.).
  21. Forgive student typos in chat.
  22. Acknowledge your mistakes and apologize when you need to.
  23. Leave Zoom session on after class is over to allow your students to chat. Join them when possible.
  24. Provide two-minute self-care breaks. Such pauses help students relieve stress, regulate their emotions, and achieve focus and clarity.
  25. Within 24 hours, follow up with students who missed class.