Dr. Mike Hendricks, assistant professor of Politics and Government, received the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology’s (CTLT) Teaching Innovations Grant for his collaborative project with Dr. Jordan Arellanes (Department of Psychology) and Dr. Chang Su-Russell (Department of Family and Consumer Sciences). CTLT awarded Hendricks and his co-investigators $2,500 to pursue their project “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion within the Classroom Through Innovative Teaching Practices.”

This study intends to understand if being a part of a class that focuses on diversity and inclusion makes students feel as though faculty, staff, and administrators are passionate about these important topics. Based on previous focus group studies by Hendricks and Arellanes in their classes, they found that diversity and inclusion initiatives are important for ISU students but the students enter their courses with apprehension and feel as though there are a lack of readily available resources for them, as well as faculty, staff, and administrators that are fervent about advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. They plan on using an explanatory mixed methods design framework in six courses during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The current project connects in‐class initiatives to student experiences both within classrooms and across campus. Within their courses, they will incorporate routine class dialogue on topics related to diversity and inclusion with the goal of normalizing students’ abilities to have challenging discussions and to impact students’ perceptions about diversity and inclusion efforts by faculty, staff, and administrators. The objective of the study is to decrease student apprehension and increase their understanding of diversity and inclusion efforts made across campus, as well as available resources for them.

Hendricks and his co-investigators will utilize a longitudinal design to understand the impact of their own efforts to support diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout each course. They will collect quantitative data from their students on their knowledge of race, their own racial identity, equity, microaggression, implicit biases, institutional level racism, and their awareness of efforts to address these issues at ISU.

Before the first class, students will complete a presurvey that asks students questions in relation to the measures above. Data will be analyzed to produce a summary of the positive and negative aspects from student surveys. Subsequent focus groups will occur in class to contextualize student experiences from the survey. Near the end of each semester, students will complete a follow‐up survey.

This survey will ask students 1) (post‐test) how they feel currently and 2) (post/pretest) to reflect on how they felt before the semester began. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations will be utilized to test the change in student perceptions.