EDI Guest Blog post - Getting Ready for a New Year: Equity in the Classroom

This was originally posted on CCCOER’s website at Getting Ready for a New Year: Equity in the Classroom – CCCOER

Getting Ready for a New Year: Equity in the Classroom

By Tonja Conerly, Sociology Professor, San Jacinto College

As we start another semester, it is just as obvious as when we closed our educational system in March 2020 due to Coronavirus that inequities in our classrooms still exist. Inequities in the classroom can consist of but aren’t limited to, students without access to computers, internet services, and textbooks. The semester started with some institutions returning to the Spring semester conducting classes face-to-face, while others have decided to have a “soft opening” with classes being taught online and returning face-to-face the later part of January.

More than ever before, the Open Educational Resources (OER) community is acting upon the charge of bringing equity into our classroom. The OER community achievements consist of Anti-Racist programs; professional development webinars for college faculty, staff, and administrator; open pedagogy resources, and advocates, creating, reviewing, and editing OER materials (including textbooks) to address the need for diversity in our OER materials.

As we continue to encourage educational equity in the classroom, tips to help us prepare are:

  • Allow our students to contribute to assessments and assignments;
  • Use an icebreaker on the 1st day of class to hear students commonalities;
  • Partner with library staff to locate a reader that your class can relate to; and
  • Use Service Learning as a project to teach about diversity in our society.

As we continue to progress in our equity efforts in our OER community, the CCCOER EDI committee’s goal is to provide knowledge to our students, faculty, staff, and administrators on topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Let us know about your or your college’s efforts on making a lasting change in our OER community and society. Are you using any of the above tips, or have any of your own to share?