Modern Higher Education Learning Environments
Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) Tutorial
The UA Office of Instruction and Assessment offers a series of self-enrolled and self-paced online tutorials. They have been designed for any UA instructor, including graduate teaching assistants, and are offered through D2L.
The Tutorials present theory and evidence for various teaching practices, along with practical examples and prompts for enrollees to apply these practices to their teaching. For those who wish to learn more about engaging diverse students and designing inclusive and accessible learning environments, the following Tutorial is recommended:
- Teaching Diverse Students - This tutorial invites instructors to reflect on their own beliefs and skills, their teaching practice and course design. Materials and activities will facilitate exploring strategies for engaging diverse students and designing inclusive and accessible learning environments. Some of the topics include inclusive excellence, intercultural (teaching) competence, and universal design. All units include reflective activities and invite participants to create and revise their teaching materials.
Chapter 6 The Design of Learning Environments in the 2002 National Academy Press (NAP) publication How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and Schools includes fundamental concepts that apply to learners of all ages:
Inclusivity is an important consideration in all classrooms, but particularly in Collaborative Learning Spaces. The following information from several peer institutions is relevant for faculty who teach in the UA Collaborative Learning Spaces:
- Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom (Vanderbilt University)
- Strategies for Fostering Inclusion in the Classroom (Washington University)
- Creating Inclusive College Classrooms (University of Michigan)
The 2006 Educause publication, Learning Spaces, includes a chapter that focuses on the psychology of learning environments:
The authors of the following 2009 Educause paper argue that the time has come to build the context around spaces and investigate the broader concept of environments.
Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Classroom
As stated by Lynn Nadel, UA Chair of the Faculty:
"Diversity, in all its forms, is one of the core values of the UA. Taking advantage of diversity requires more than tokens, it requires systematic inclusion of diverse approaches, perspectives and people. Easier said than done sometimes. The attached document provides some ideas that faculty might benefit from as they take on the challenge of making diversity work in the classroom - it was prepared by Vice Provost Jesús Treviño. "