FIRST Takeaways Summer 2020 Edition

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Tips for Creating Inclusive Learning Environments Summer 2020 edition

Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative at Davidson College

Table of Contents Notes and Acknowledgements

page 03

Alleviating Test Anxiety

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Active Learning for Inclusivity

page 05

Asynchronous Course Design.

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Building Classroom Community

page 07

Assessing Inclusivity

page 08

Supporting Students

page 09

Office Hours

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Trauma-Aware Teaching

page 11

Inclusive Class Materials

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Notes & Acknowledgements FIRST, Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together, is an inclusive excellence project funded by HHMI that aims for Davidson College to build capacity to engage all students in the sciences by changing the way we do business, removing barriers, becoming more welcoming, and helping to make science and scientists more diverse. This booklet gathers information shared at summer 2020 FIRST events by briefly summarizing take-home messages and action items that are essential components of creating change to make more inclusive learning environments for all students in and beyond STEM. FIRST extends special thanks to summer 2020 event hosts Susana Wadgymar, Annelise Goresek-Benitez, Sundi Richard, Yan Zhuang, Brent Maher, Esther Lherisson, David Graham, and Lauren Stutts and to all who participated in FIRST events. More details on past and future FIRST events at: For More Information on FIRST: Website: Twitter: @FIRST_Davidson Instagram: first_Davidson Facebook: FIRSTDavidson

Alleviating Test Anxiety from 06.02.20 FIRST journal club by Susana Wadgymar Slides at:

Article: Harris et al. (2019) Can test anxiety interventions alleviate a gender gap in an undergraduate STEM course? CBE-LSE 18:ar35 Hypotheses for differential exam performance: • stereotype threats • bias in test design or implementation • instructor mindsets (growth vs. fixed) • student stress and/or anxiety Interventions: • students write about their thoughts and anxieties at the start of an exam (expressive writing) • reframe signs of anxiety to be perceived as energizing energy instead (reappraising physiological arousal) Results: • a gender difference in test anxiety was observed without a gap in exam or non-exam points • higher test anxiety associated with lower exam scores • expressive writing and reappraising physiological arousal interventions helped everyone, regardless of gender or level of test anxiety For recent Davidson gateway STEM course grades: • females often had higher final course grades* *data provided considered only two genders

Active Learning For Inclusivity

from 06.16.20 FIRST event by A. Gorensek-Benitez Slides/recording:

Intentionally encourage preparation for each class: • Assign short low-stakes quizzes before or at start of class on current and/or past material • Make asking questions about material expected parts quizzes, class, etc. • Provide skeleton notes* with sections for students to complete before class • Encourage collaboration, problem-solving, and shared notetaking during class via Google docs, Jamboards, breakout rooms, etc. Make class materials available: • Post all materials (slides, readings, videos, etc.) • Record class sessions for those who cannot attend and/or need to review Intentionally include diverse examples: • Feature underrepresented scientists - avoid tokenization • Share stories of mentors and inspiring scientists • Demonstrate the diversity of journeys to becoming a scientist and how science is done *Felder & Brent (2015) Handouts with gaps. Chem Engr. Ed. 49: 239-40.

Asynchronous Course Design

from 06.25.20 FIRST event by Sundi Richard Slides/recording at:

Definitions: • synchronous courses require students to engage in real-time interactions with classmates for learning • asynchronous courses provide opportunities for learning that do not need to occur in real-time • hybrid courses thoughtfully blend both synchronous and asynchronous components in their design Benefits of asynchronous course elements: • enhances equity • encourages reflective inquiry • encourages self-directed learning • provides opportunities for metacognition Tips for activities in asynchronous courses: • model types of responses expected • annotate collaboratively (Hypothesis) • provide summaries, pulling from student responses • give students choices and flexibility when possible • encourage debate, persuasion, and sharing • create third spaces (Teams, Slack, GroupMe) Recommended resources: • An Affinity for Asynchronous Learning - Maha Bali • Ten Ways to Annotate with Students - Jeremy Dean • Cognitive Presence for Effective Asynchronous Online Learning - Randy Garrison

Building Classroom Community

from 07.08.20 FIRST event by Yan Zhuang - slides & recording at: Why foster belongingness in a course: • Equity is promoted • Students who belong feel more engaged and at ease • Students who combine social and study time learn more How to foster community and belonging: • Have students create classroom norms and expectations • Strategically plan groups (i.e., no groups with only one woman or person of color, etc.) • Create reflection assignments so students can revisit the classroom norms and experiences in their groups and metacognitively reflect on their own learning and growth Encourage class discussions about: • Inequities and issues in your discipline • Growth mindset and learning from effective failure • Personal experiences that helped/hindered your success

Assessing Inclusivity

from 07.15.20 FIRST event by Brent Maher Slides/recording:

Reasons to assess inclusivity in a course: • Communicates to students that you value inclusivity • Demonstrates that you welcome student feedback • Provides you with actionable feedback to improve learning Steps for inclusive survey design: • Start with a broad motivating question • Develop explicit questions about specific experiences • Anticipate how you will analyze the feedback you gather • Prepare to reflect on and weigh contradictory feedback Design decisions to consider: • Will you use validated or custom questions? • How will you ensure anonymity and confidentiality? • How will you gather quantitative and qualitative data? • How will you share results? (with students, colleagues, etc.) • How will you act on the student feedback you receive?

Supporting Students

from 07.22.20 FIRST event by Esther Lherisson Slides at: Financial barriers influence student engagement: • Use free, open-access materials when possible • Remind students that some textbooks can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan and Lula Bell’s • Learn about financial resources for students such as Dean of Students loans and emergency funds Provide supports for students to be successful: • Call in rather than call out • Offer resources to students (known and your own) • Be flexible with deadlines and other elements • Describe office hours as safe and confidential • Ask if a student needs you to listen or to listen & respond Encourage student autonomy and resiliency: • Support student decisions • Normalize asking for assistance • Empower students to seek resources • Be helpful in any way you can when approached Anti-racist actions improve student experiences: • Believe students with negative experiences • Inform students of bias report options available • Hold yourself and your colleagues accountable for microaggressions and other exclusionary practices

Office Hours

from the 07.30.20 FIRST event by Esther Lherisson Slides at: Explain how office hours work: • Explain the purposes of office hours for students • Offer incentives to visit office hours • Provide examples of how successful students have used office hours to their advantage Offer a variety of office hour formats: • Provide group and one-on-one office hours formats • Provide drop-in and appointment formats • Provide alternatives to the office (outdoors, walking, Union, Summit, phone, Zoom, etc.) Encourage conversations beyond course content: • Avoid rushing students out of your office hours • Ask students about themselves (other courses, career aspirations, hobbies, dreams, etc.)

Trauma-Aware Teaching

from 08.06.20 event by D. Graham and E. Lherisson Slides at:

The prevalence of trauma: • Assume trauma in students – most individuals will experience at least one traumatic event in a lifetime What can help: • Avoid judgement – try not to diagnose students • Avoid trying to find a silver lining in a student’s situation • Normalize help seeking – make sure comments and syllabus signal that support for students getting help • Ask students what they find supportive – learn how your students deal with stress and how best to support them • Avoid reducing situations – avoid phrases such as “all students feel that way” or “it will be fine” • Preview that when significant events occur, you may elect to redirect class time to discuss a situation Developing stronger relationships with students: • Validate student experiences and feelings • Display appreciation when a student shares something sensitive (e.g., “It means a lot that you told me.”) • Refer students to resources and promise to check back with the student to offer continuing support • Ask the student what they would like you to do with information they share. They may want action or they may just need a sounding board or a kind ear.

Inclusive Class Materials

from 08.11.20 FIRST event by Lauren Stutts Slides at: A syllabus should: • be learner centered and use us/we language • promote inclusivity by adding diversity, inclusivity, and anti-racist statements • encourage growth mindsets for instructor & students • describe how to be successful in the course Inclusive assignments: • include self-reflection moments for students • connect to the current climate in some capacity • relate to social justice movements • connect to student values • provide opportunities for community engagement How to be antiracist in class: • include authors who identify as BIPOC • include articles on anti-racism in the field • acknowledge how the field is influenced by white privilege, white supremacy, racism, inequity, intersectionality, etc.

Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together HHMI Inclusive Excellence Initiative at Davidson College

FIRST Overview: Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together (FIRST) aims for Davidson College to build our inclusive capacity to engage all students in science, especially those who are new majority students or come to college via non-traditional pathways. We aim to change the way we do business, we aspire to remove barriers, to be more welcoming, and to help make science and scientists more diverse. FIRST Goals: 1. Transform faculty understandings of critical factors that foster STEM success for all students regardless of background and implementing inclusive pedagogies throughout STEM, including digital pedagogies. 2. Reduce institutional barriers to STEM success by concretely addressing specific campus policies, practices, and structures that exhibit racist beliefs and/or limit inclusivity and learning. For More Information on FIRST: Website: Twitter: @FIRST_Davidson Instagram: first_Davidson Facebook: FIRSTDavidson