Skip to main body content

CTE | Boston College

Main Content

Creating Inclusive Classrooms

As institutions of higher education welcome increasingly diverse student bodies and seek to expand the diversity of perspectives reflected in their curricula, faculty can sometimes struggle to carve out classroom spaces that support all students as they strive to meet their learning goals. The question of inclusion in the classroom has implications for all parts of our practice: curriculum development, pedagogical approach, and classroom interaction.

The “Creating Inclusive Classrooms” cohort invited faculty to participate in a year-long inquiry into this complex pedagogical puzzle. All participants were asked to identify at least one new strategy they wanted to implement in one of their courses meant to improve either the inclusiveness of their course content or their classroom climate. We sought faculty from a range of disciplines to participate, particularly those whose subject matter didn't necessarily lend itself to discussions of “diversity.” Although we welcomed a broad definition of inclusion in this conversation, we focused most of our emphasis around questions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and ability.

  • Yonder Gillihan (Theology)
  • Annie Homza (Teacher Education)
  • David Scanlon (Teacher Education)
  • Eve Spangler (Sociology)
  • Sherri St. Pierre (Nursing)
  • Meghan Sweeney (Theology)
  • Susan Tohn (Social Work)
  • Celeste Wells (Communication)

Contemplative Pedagogies

Instructors at Boston College and other schools have begun to introduce contemplative pedagogies into their classroom practice. These pedagogies can take a wide variety of forms, ranging from beginning each class period with a moment of silence to classroom activities that encourage students to reflect more deeply on implications of the disciplinary material they are learning for their lives outside the classroom. The Center for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education offers both examples and resources. Instructors incorporating these practices teach in a wide range of disciplinary and professional fields, and we encouraged applications from faculty across the university. Participating faculty explored the use of such practices in their own teaching. The cohort was open not only to faculty who had already begun to integrate contemplative pedagogies into their classes but also to faculty who were only beginning to consider their use. All participants were asked to identify at least one contemplative practice to integrate into their teaching and commit to exploring with their faculty colleagues the effectiveness of these practices.

  • Karen Arnold (Education Leadership and Higher Education)
  • Can Erbil (Economics)
  • Angela Harkins (STM)
  • Oh Myo Kim (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Paul Kline (Social Work)
  • Julie MacEvoy (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Paula Mathieu (English)
  • Shawn McGuffey (Sociology)
  • Franco Mormando (Romance Languages and Literatures)
  • Matthew Petillo (Theology)
  • Alan Richardson (English)
  • Patricia Riggin (Theater)
  • David Storey (Philosophy)
  • Laura Tanner (English)
  • Laura White (Nursing)
  • Brian Zimmerman (English)

Hybrid Course Design

The Academic Technology Advisory Board (ATAB), a committee of the Office of the Provost that supports the innovative use of technology in teaching, generously funded the Hybrid Course Design cohort for 2016-2017 as part of their Special Projects funding. ATAB sought applications from faculty who were interested in transforming a face-to-face course into a hybrid course. Faculty were expected to redesign one of their 2016-2017 courses so that at least 25% of it took place online. Faculty were asked to plan for incorporating innovative uses of technology that went beyond the use of native tools already in Canvas (e.g. Panopto, discussion boards). Specific examples included animation, creative embedding of video materials, simulations, and interactive material for assessment. Whether a hybrid course was the end goal -- or this was a stepping stone on the way to developing a fully-online course -- we welcomed instructors' interest in the cohort.

  • Jessica Black (Social Work)
  • Vincent Cho (Educational Leadership and Higher Education)
  • Mary Cronin (Information Systems)
  • Ikram Easton (Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures)
  • Nicole Eaton (History)
  • Larry Ludlow (Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation)
  • Sam Richardson (Economics)
  • Laura Rumbley (Educational Leadership and Higher Education)
  • Martin Scanlan (Educational Leadership and Higher Education)

MediaKron

The Academic Technology Advisory Board (ATAB), a committee of the Office of the Provost that supports the innovative use of technology in teaching, generously funded the MediaKron cohort for 2016-2017 as part of their Special Projects funding. ATAB sought applications from faculty who were interested in developing a MediaKron project for one of their 2016-2017 courses. MediaKron is a web-based toolkit for digital thinking and storytelling developed at Boston College for Boston College faculty. Faculty have found MediaKron a useful tool both for organizing and communicating content to their students and as a platform for students to engage in multimedia projects as part of the course. Inviting students to go beyond the traditional essay can open up new possibilities for creative and critical engagement with the course. Visit the MediaKron website to see examples of past MediaKron projects.

  • Daniel Bowles (German Studies)
  • James Bretzke (STM)
  • Belle Liang (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Ernesto Livon-Grosman (Romance Languages and Literatures)
  • Karen Miller (History)
  • Catherine Mooney (STM)
  • Christopher Polt (Classical Studies)
  • Nelson Portillo (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Rita Rosenthal (Communication)
  • Sarah Ross (History)
  • Samantha Teixeira (Social Work)
  • Cinthya Torres (Romance Languages and Literatures)
  • Robin Wood (Nursing)