5 Ways to Create an Inclusive Classroom Environment on the Collegiate Level

There are many aspects to creating an inclusive college classroom, from ensuring every student is participative and engaged in the course material, to providing opportunities for students to speak their minds based on their own worldviews and life experiences.

While the 1972 passage of Title IX greatly helped this cause, it is still up to professors to follow specific guidelines in order to foster collaborative and accepting classroom environments.

Here are several ways you can create an inclusive classroom environment on the collegiate level:

Tailor your course content to your audience

If you are fortunate enough to have control over the materials you use for your specific course, then you ought to take full advantage of that privilege. Shari Saunders and Diana Kardia suggest that you choose course materials that “include multiple perspectives on each topic of the course rather than focusing solely on a single perspective.”

Although this particular tactic may require additional research on your end, as not every textbook will be entirely inclusive, it will provide a more diverse classroom the opportunity to relate to and give feedback on the topic.

Create classroom rules and behavioral guidelines

These rules could include respecting and listening to differing opinions, maintaining an open mind, making an effort to get to know those who are different from oneself, and so on. By implementing such guidelines at the beginning of the semester, students will be more likely to adhere to them throughout the remainder of the course and be more receptive to conflicting worldviews.

Rid yourself and/or your students of any biases

Biases are an issue in and of themselves, so it should come as no surprise that racial, sexual, and other biases hinder all chances of increasing classroom inclusivity. It is best to combat these attitudes and assumptions by maintaining a neutral opinion of all students until you truly get to know them, their work ethics, willingness to participate, writing habits, strengths and weaknesses, and so on.

Do not get comfortable with your lack of knowledge of other cultural groups

Educate yourself on the people you are teaching, whether through outside research or by actually engaging in conversation with your students. Not only will you learn about them, their culture, and how they engage in cultural traditions and habits, but you will be able to better defend them against discrimination within the classroom as well.

Be aware of your students’ needs

This is true in all classrooms, not just those that host special needs or disabled students. Be sure to offer your students your time and guidance throughout the semester, assuring them that you are available to aid them no matter how large or small their issue is. Additionally, encourage your students to reach out to classmates for assistance as well, as this will foster the inclusive environment you are seeking to develop.

Exploring The World’s Most Renowned University Libraries

Katerina Zissouli University Libraries

This blog was originally published on here: Katerina Zissouli’s Literature Website


The “college experience” is not always deeply rooted in academia. Our culture’s perception of the college experience has shifted into a focus on life outside of the classroom: cheering on the university’s sports teams, exploring a foreign territory for new adventures, and late-night social activities.

But, for some, there is still an excitement that arises from the continued pursuit of knowledge. There is a drive that can only stem from challenging students’ perspectives and understanding within various subject matters, opening students’ minds to limitless capabilities. That cannot come without engagement into their own academics. This means that students are present in the classroom, where they will be immersed in the teachings of their professors and the perspectives of other classmates. But there is one place to which students flock in order to remain inspired outside of the classroom: their university’s library.

If being surrounded by literature new and old sustains your pursuit of knowledge, you will be enamored by these beautiful university libraries from around the world:

George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University

Since 1860, the library has accumulated a collection of over 300,000 books available to those who are looking to learn more about a variety of subjects, ranging from archeology to Greek classics. If the number of books doesn’t win you over, the architecture will. Contained within the library are levels of bookshelves that continue upwards sixty-one feet above the floor, ending in a massive skylight that stretches the length of the ceiling.

Folger Shakespeare Library at Amherst College

As can be assumed by its name, this library is not only home to the largest collection of William Shakespeare’s works, but it also stretches beyond that, encompassing works of art that are dedicated to Shakespeare’s legacy.

Klarchek Information Commons at Loyola University of Chicago

This library offers its patrons a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan as they sit and peruse their books or as they work on their assignments. The building is completely transparent, offering everyone who walks inside of the building a unique view that can’t be duplicated anywhere else.

Cook Legal Research Library at University of Michigan

This library is expansive and magnificent, offering unparalleled beauty with its one-of-a-kind architectural elements. It is renowned for its metalwork and features large spires and colorful stained glass windows. It can house hundreds of students within its Study Group Rooms and Reading Room. It also contains the world’s best collection of research material, making it perfect for those seeking knowledge across every possible genre or subject matter.

If you are a bookworm who is looking to experience as many of these renowned university libraries as possible, consider adding these to your list!

Tech Products Schools Should Implement in Their Curriculum

Katerina Zissouli Technology in Classroom

This blog was originally posted on here: Katerina Zissouli’s Education Website


The traditional chalkboard, outdated smart boards, and old-fashioned overhead projection tools are not as effective as they used to be. To prepare students, we need to utilize the tools of today, not yesterday, to get them ready for the future. Texting, virtual reality, and the cloud are a few devices higher education institutions should incorporate into their curriculum.

Texting

Texting is the new form of note passing that most instructors despise. But, no matter how often faculty try to implement the “no cell phone rule,” it seems as though it’s almost impossible to regulate students’ usage during their time in the classroom. Maybe it’s time for faculty to stop fighting the current and embrace the technology available to them. See below for some ideas about how to utilize texting in the classroom.

  • Remind allows instructors to send text messages and emails to students with no phone number necessary. With the ability to send reminders, class updates, assignments, and helpful study guides, instructors can reach students wherever and whenever.
  • Poll Everywhere is a polling website that students can use during class time. Students can text their responses, give feedback, and answer questions all in the palm of their hand. What’s cool about this tool is that answers can be anonymously projected in real-time as the responses flood in.
  • StudyBoost and Celly are tools that supply learners with SMS-based quizzes with topics ranging from geography to SAT prep. In addition, Celly can be used to exchange notes or push group notices to students in real-time. Students can study anywhere — whether it’s while they’re in the classroom or going for a quick walk around the block.

Virtual Reality

Did you ever think that students can go on a field trip without leaving their classroom? Google Expeditions is an app used in conjunction with a smartphone and reasonably-priced virtual reality goggles, such as Cardboard. Faculty can guide their students through amazing 360-degree virtual field trips to zoos, museums, and even Mars with just a tablet.

The Cloud

“The attraction of cloud computing for… schools is clear: Institutions do not want to download a bunch of files and put them on devices,” says Jennifer Bergland, director of government relations at the Texas Computer Education Association, in an interview with EdTech Magazine. These days, institutions would prefer to subscribe to cloud services like Google Drive, so all files are easily accessible without requiring manpower to install software on all computers. Zotero is another tool that can be used as a shared repository and for document sharing. In fact, Zotero can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a widget which can be added to your web browser. There are numerous reasons that make cloud computing the way of the future for classrooms.

  1. Group projects would be easier than ever with cloud software. Instead of students struggling to coordinate meeting times, they can complete their projects anywhere when the time is convenient for them.
  2. Documents can be accessible from any device. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop, students can view and/or download anything as long as they have an Internet connection.
  3. With auto save, all documents and data are stored completely in the cloud — even if the device crashes!

Texting, virtual reality, and the cloud are all tools professors and universities at large should be incorporating into their daily functions.  Technology should not be banned from the classroom in order to keep students attentive.  Use the ever-growing technologies made easily accessible today to grow your class beyond what you ever thought or imagined possible.