Salad bowl or Melting Pot: Embracing Diversity in Online Learning

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This presentation discusses fostering diversity on online learning-- how to avoid biases and stereotyping in the online classroom.

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  • I will discuss strategies to facilitate learning to recognize differences and embrace diversity through readings, discussion board management, and feedback.
  • . The migration of students to the US from Mexico, Asia, South America and other parts of the world poses the issue of students who are out of sync with mainstream culture. What are some of the underlying assumptions of differences between non-western and western cultures?
  • But, online groups where the participants do not know much about each other beyond a name, and where the diversity of the community may be more ‘hidden’, can still be exclusive.
  • The online classroom becomes a place where transformations in identity and self-image take place and the more in –tune the instructor is with each student and with the group dynamics in the discussion board and in synchronous sessions, the more likely it will be that students will integrate well in the class and feel part of a whole group identity.
  • Salad bowl or Melting Pot: Embracing Diversity in Online Learning

    1. 1. SALAD BOWL OR MELTING POT: CAN IT WORK? EMBRACING DIVERSITY IN ONLINE LEARNING Rathi Krishnan– Composition Barbara c.g Green--Composition 1
    2. 2. INTRODUCTION Students should express acceptance of the following: • • • • • gender ethnicity sexual orientation spirituality/religion political orientation 2
    3. 3. READINGS Readings should cover a wide swath of human endeavor and reflect the diversity of the student body. 3
    4. 4. THE PLACE OF THE DISCUSSION BOARD 4
    5. 5. APPROPRIATE FEEDBACK & ASSESSMENT 5
    6. 6. CULTURAL & RACIAL DIVERSITY WESTERN & NON-WESTERN VALUES 6
    7. 7. E- LEARNING COMMUNITIES • Identity • Learning • Exclusion 7
    8. 8. E-LEARNING COMMUNITIES Diversity Identity Belonging 8
    9. 9. STRATEGIES FOR INTEGRATION IN THE CLASSROOM 9
    10. 10. REFERENCES Gunawardena, C. & Zittle, F. (1997) Social presence as a predictor of satisfaction within a computer-mediated conferencing environment, The American Journal of Distance Education, 11(3), 8_26 Heemskerk, I., Brink, A., Volman, M. & Dam, G. (2005) Inclusiveness and ICT in education: A focus on gender, ethnicity and social class, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21, 1_16. Herring, S. (1994) Gender differences in computer-mediated communications: bringing familiar baggage to the new frontier. Available online at: http://www.mith2.umd.edu/WomensStudiesComputing/Articles_ResearchPapers/gender-differences communication (Retrieved from Academic Search Premier on July 21st. 2009) Hughes, G. (2007) Exploring the availability of student scientist identities within curriculum discourse: an anti-essentialist approach to gender inclusive science, Gender and Education, 13(3), 275_290. Hughes, G. & Scott, C. (2005) No pain no game: use of an online game to explore issues of Online identity and the implications for collaborative e-learning, E-Learning, 2(4), 388_401. Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of practice: learning, meaning and identity (New York, Cambridge University Press). 10

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