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Syllabus and Course Curriculum Self-Assessment and Audit Tool

Faculty play a key role creating a learning environment that is either supportive and affirming or marginalizing and hostile. Accordingly, it is imperative that faculty carefully examine ways their syllabi, assignments, language, and classroom culture may inadvertently raise barriers to students’ success. Faculty must proactively create positive classroom cultures where all students feel valued, respected, and safe.

This tool was developed for faculty to examine their syllabi, teaching practices, and classroom environment. The goal is to support faculty in implementing the ideals of diversity and inclusivity in their classroom.

Questions to Consider:

  • What types of diversity do you anticipate seeing in your student population? (Consider

    race / ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, first generation status,

    learning styles, experience (preparation in high school, parenthood, etc.), language, etc.)

  • How does your syllabus and course curriculum support or marginalize these students?

  • How can you vary the course readings, teaching methods, class activities, assignments,

    and assessments to better support the diverse identities and needs in the classroom? This tool includes:

  • A checklist of syllabus basics

  • Rubrics to evaluate syllabus content and classroom culture

  • Guidelines for inclusive language

  • Ground rules for class discussions

  • Glossary of terms

  • List of resources for going deeper

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Resources to Re-Envision UBE through Teaching and Mentoring

This collection serves as a space to gather and share various resources that currently exist that members of the REC Network use to support and enhance Black students learning, engagement, and retention in undergraduate biology education. Resources can include but are not limited to: 

- Mentoring Practices, Strategies, and Protocols

- Pedagogical Practices, Strategies, and Tools

- Content (e.g., Scientists Spotlights, Bio - Problems that align, etc.). 


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Terrell R Morton