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Workshop series helps infuse diversity into courses

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Faculty members looking to create a more inclusive classroom can get some assistance from the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) this summer. “Reinvent Your Course for Diversity” is a workshop series that helps instructors take a look at the environments they create in their classrooms.

“The goal of the workshop is to get instructors to gain a critical perspective of their own courses,” said Mayuko Nakamura of the CTLT. “And from that perspective, we want to give the resources they need.”

The series, one of several offered in the Summer Institute for Course Design Workshops, will run Wednesdays and begins June 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The following sessions, on June 17, 22 and July 8, will be from 9 a.m.-noon. Wednesday, August 5, will be a showcase session. Registration is open now.

The series provides instructors with ways to redesign existing courses by examining goals, curriculum, and assessment methods. Nakamura noted that instructors are often unaware that different teaching methods can exclude a group of students. Pointing to discussion-style classes, Nakamura said people with disabilities or those who are not accustomed to rapid discussion styles could be left behind. “It can limit the involvement of students who come from cultures where time to gather thoughts is the norm,” she said.

Throughout the workshop series, faculty members will work to recognize differences that might impact their teaching. “We work to find ways to incorporate different voices into the curriculum–regional differences, ethnic differences, those with disabilities,” she said.

The Reinvent Your Course for Diversity series has helped many teachers bring diversity into their classrooms. Cyndy Ruszkowski, an instructional assistant professor in the College of Business, participated in the workshops to reinvent MQM 220: Business Organization and Management. “Now I am able to take my students to a much deeper level of diversity beyond what they see,” Ruszkowski said. “Hopefully these changes will help them become more aware of their own diversity and have an impact on their life and others.”

Registration is required. More information is available at the CTLT website, or contact Mayuko Nakamura at mnakamu@IllinoisState.edu or 438-2542.