Respect Diversity

This video deals with issues around tolerance, diversity, and acceptance.

The following list of best practices is a practical set of guidelines for those teaching online culturally diverse students

  • Provide information about how to access the online unit by personal email or letter, i.e. outside the online environment;
  • Humanise and introduce yourself and explain the protocol of addressing and communicating with staff;
  • Provide a statement of equity online;
  • Explicitly express the ground rules for behavioural expectations at the beginning of an online course. For example, the rules for entering into conversations in progress as well as respecting silence and taking turns in discussion;
  • Explicitly outline student and staff expectations and responsibilities such as the speed with which queries will be answered and what type of feedback can be expected for submitted work;
  • Design for one learning community rather than multiple cultural cohorts but recognise the different cohorts and learning styles when designing the curriculum;
  • Use examples from different cultural settings and/or appeal to different cultural groups;
  • When appropriate, use anonymity or nicknames to help lower cultural assumptions;
  • Mix student groups to foster diversity;Provide time for reflection and understanding;
  • Do not provide wholly online units for first year students (or if not possible then provide orientation to lessen the impact of transition);
  • Provide an ‘online social club’ for students to interact and make connections;
  • Treat your online class the same as if they were face to face by adopting similar good practices for inclusive teaching that are used in face to face classes.

Accommodating culture and cultural diversity in online teaching


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