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INCLTEACHx - Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom


Amanda M. Jungels, PhD
Center for Teaching and Learning
Columbia University

Chandani Patel, PhD
Center for Teaching and Learning
Columbia University

Amanda Irvin, PhD
Center for Teaching and Learning
Columbia University


Inclusive teaching is an issue that has received increased attention on college campuses around the country and around the world. Understanding how course climate impacts students and their learning is increasingly important to faculty and administrators alike across a wide range of educational contexts. Yet creating equitable learning environments that support all students’ learning can be a challenge, especially when one considers that course climate consists of a variety of factors (e.g., student-student interactions, faculty-student interactions, course content and policies). Despite the fact that creating an inclusive teaching environment is beneficial for all students’ learning, issues around inclusion and disinclusion are rarely discussed in practical terms.

Participants in this course will consider multiple facets of inclusive teaching, including the creation of an equitable course climate, the design and implementation of accessible and inclusive classroom practices and assessments, and the selection and implementation of diverse course content. Participants will engage with key concepts in inclusive teaching and learn from experts in higher education who share their important research on student development, microaggressions, stereotype threat, and Universal Design for Learning. Participants will be equipped with tools to help them develop inclusive courses that support all learners.


    • Identify instructor assumptions about students and how these assumptions impact teaching practices
    • Develop an awareness of critical self-reflection and its value in teaching diverse learners
    • Define the key components that impact inclusive classrooms
    • Apply inclusive teaching strategies in individual teaching contexts
    • Identify resources needed to continually improve inclusive teaching practice


Inclusive Teaching is a self-paced course* consisting of 6 modules. Each module includes the following items:

    • Video lectures and interviews with scholars
    • Learning activities, including reflection activities 

In order for you to fully engage with all of the course content and activities, we strongly recommend that you use a web-browser (such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox) on your device. 

*What is a self-paced course? According to the edX Learner's Guide (link opens in new window), "Self-paced courses do not follow a set schedule. Course materials do not become available according to a schedule, but are completely available as soon as the course begins. Assignments and exams do not have start or due dates. The course shows indicators for graded assignments, but not due dates."


You must complete all of the activities, including the interactive case studies, reflection activities, identity wheel activities, and checklists to pass the course and receive an optional Verified Certificate (for more information, please see Assessments & Grading below).

If you are in the verified track for the course, a Request Certificate option will appear on the course Progress page after completing the Primary Source Activities. When you click Request Certificate, your certificate is generated. When the certificate is ready (typically after one minute), links to view or download the certificate are visible on your dashboard and on the course Progress page.

Learners auditing the course will have access to all course materials except the graded culminating assignment at the end of the course. You will be able to access the content of the course for the expected course length (6 weeks). After this duration, you will no longer be able to access that course material. If you decide that you do want to earn the certificate, you can pay to switch to the verified track by the upgrade deadline and take the graded assignments required to earn the certificate. As always, financial assistance is abundant and easily accessible for learners who need it.


Overview of Inclusive Teaching

    • Introduction to Critical Reflection
    • Uncovering Assumptions

Module 1: Establishing and Supporting an Inclusive Course Climate

    • What is Course Climate?
    • Case Studies: Applying Strategies
    • Responding to Microaggressions
    • Strategies for Establishing an Inclusive Course Climate
    • Resources and Recommended Readings

Module 2: Setting Explicit Expectations

    • How Does Establishing Clear Expectations Benefit All Students?
    • Course Goals and Student Motivation
    • Set Expectations about Assessments and Grading
    • Cycle of Practice and Feedback
    • Strategies for Inclusive Feedback and Grading
    • Resources and Recommended Readings

Module 3: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Course Content

    • Why Does Diverse Course Content Matter?
    • Neutral Topics, Neutral Spaces?
    • Teaching Challenging, Controversial, and Sensitive Content
    • Case Studies: Applying Strategies
    • Strategies for Incorporating Diverse Voices
    • Developing and Teaching Intercultural Competence
    • Resources and Recommended Readings

Module 4: Designing All Course Elements for Accessibility

    • Introduction to Universal Design for Learning
    • The “What” of Learning: Multiple Means of Representation
    • The “How” of Learning: Multiple Means of Action and Expression
    • The “Why” of Learning: Multiple Means of Engagement
    • Additional Strategies
    • Resources and Recommended Readings

Module 5: Cultivating Critical Self-Reflection

    • Revisiting Critical Reflection
    • Self-Reflection and Instructor Identities
    • Strategies for Collecting External Feedback
    • Further Considerations for Structural and Institutional Change
    • Closing Reflections
    • Resources and Recommended Readings


Each section features videos that are typically 4 - 10 minutes long. The videos can be watched at various speeds and with or without closed captioning. You may also reuse the videos according to the Creative Commons license BY-NC-SA 4.0, which means that anyone anywhere may copy, share, adapt, and remix the videos and the videos’ key media components, including transcripts, without having to ask for prior permission, as long as such sharing is done for noncommercial purposes and the original author, work, and copyright notice above are cited. For more information, visit:

    • Lectures: Written and delivered by Amanda M. Jungels and Chandani Patel, these videos incrementally introduce new information and concepts related to the course.
    • Expert Interviews: These videos feature discussions of key concepts with guest scholars who offer their expertise in different areas of inclusive teaching.


    • Reflection Activities: In this course, we ask you to reflect on the ways that key concepts, themes, and questions relate to your own teaching experiences and institutional context. To help guide your reflections, each section of the course contains a reflection prompt. Your response to this prompt should be a short paragraph (3-5 sentences). The content of these reflections is not graded. You are encouraged to record your reflections externally in a journal that accompanies this course. You will also have the option to share your responses with the instructors in the edX platform as well.
    • Reflective Journal: As you take this course, we encourage you to keep a journal that can serve as a place for you to gather your thoughts and ideas and to think through the steps necessary to make adjustments to your teaching practice. This can be done with the note-taking method of your choosing. For more information and recommendations, see the Reflective Journal page in the course. Though not required, we encourage you to share your insights from your journal by copying and pasting your comments into the text boxes provided at the end of each Module.
    • Interactive Case Activities: One of the goals of this course is to introduce you to different ways to respond to difficult moments in the classroom that may impact the course climate. The interactive case studies provide opportunities to practice responding to classroom scenarios related to inclusive teaching. These activities are self-paced and incremental, which means that as you respond, new branches of the activity will become available for you to consider. After completing these activities, you will be prompted to reflect on your experiences responding to the cases.
    • Other Activities: In some modules, we also have additional activities, such as an identity wheel and checklist for accessibility. These activities are designed to prompt you to reflect on your identities and teaching practices.


    • Surveys: You will be asked to complete a survey at the beginning and end of the course. These surveys provide the Course Team with critical information about how the course is going and are a great opportunity for us to hear from you about what is working well and what can be improved. These surveys are anonymous and optional.
    • Progress Chart: Each student in an edX course has a Progress Chart which tracks their completion and performance of course activities.
    • Glossary: The glossary includes terms that are referenced throughout the course. You will see a list of glossary terms preceding each video in the course so help provide context for what the videos will discuss. You can also download the glossary as a PDF.
    • Expert Biographies: On this page, you will find a list of experts featured in the course as well as information about their areas of expertise.
    • Reflection Rubric: At the end of each module, you will be asked to evaluate your reflection responses using a rubric as a way to track your progress towards cultivating critical self-reflection about your inclusive teaching practice. See the next section (“Assessment and Grading”) for more information about the Reflection Rubric.


You must complete all of the Reflection Activities to pass the course and receive a Certificate. These assignments will be self-assessed according to the rubric below. There will be an attestation at the end of the course for those who wish to receive a Verified Certificate.

Please take a moment to review the edX Honor Code Pledge (link opens in new window). The rest of the assessment opportunities (listed in the learning activities section above) are optional.

Skill Description






Reviews prior learning (past experiences inside and outside of the classroom) in depth to reveal significantly changed perspectives about educational and life experiences, which provide foundation for expanded knowledge, growth, and maturity over time.

Reviews prior learning (past experiences inside and outside of the classroom) in depth, revealing fully clarified meanings or indicating broader perspectives about educational or life events.

Reviews prior learning (past experiences inside and outside of the classroom) with some depth, revealing slightly clarified meanings or indicating a somewhat broader perspectives about educational or life events.

Reviews prior learning (past experiences inside and outside of the classroom) at a surface level, without revealing clarified meaning or indicating a broader perspective about educational or life events.

Featured Scholars

The following scholars are featured in the Inclusive Teaching MOOC. You can learn more about them on the Course Team page.

(In alphabetical order; titles as of June 2019.)

Stephen Brookfield, PhD
John Ireland Endowed Chair
University of St. Thomas

Sheryl Burgstahler, PhD
Director, University of Washington Access Technology Center
Founder and Director, DO-IT Center

Bryan Dewsbury, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
University of Rhode Island

Michele DiPietro, PhD
Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Professor of Statistics, Kennesaw State University

Zaretta Hammond, MA
Teacher Educator
Author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain

Stephanie Kerschbaum, PhD
Associate Professor of English
University of Delaware

Derald Wing Sue, PhD
Professor of Psychology and Education
Teachers’ College, Columbia University

Frank Tuitt, PhD
Provost on Diversity and Inclusion
Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, University of Denver

Melissa Wright, MA
Associate Director, Assessment and Evaluation
Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia University