From panic to pedagogy: Using online active learning to promote inclusive instruction in ecology and evolutionary biology courses and beyond

Breanna N. Harris, Pumtiwitt C. McCarthy, April M. Wright, Heidi Schutz, Kate S. Boersma, Stephanie L. Shepherd, Lathiena A. Manning, Jessica L. Malisch, Roni M. Ellington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The rapid shift to online teaching in spring 2020 meant most of us were teaching in panic mode. As we move forward with course planning for fall and beyond, we can invest more time and energy into improving the online experience for our students. We advocate that instructors use inclusive teaching practices, specifically through active learning, in their online classes. Incorporating pedagogical practices that work to maximize active and inclusive teaching concepts will be beneficial for all students, and especially those from minoritized or underserved groups. Like many STEM fields, Ecology and Evolution shows achievement gaps and faces a leaky pipeline issue for students from groups traditionally underserved in science. Making online classes both active and inclusive will aid student learning and will also help students feel more connected to their learning, their peers, and their campus. This approach will likely help with performance, retention, and persistence of students. In this paper, we offer broadly applicable strategies and techniques that weave together active and inclusive teaching practices. We challenge instructors to commit to making small changes as a first step to more inclusive teaching in ecology and evolutionary biology courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12581-12612
Number of pages32
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume10
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • UDL
  • active learning
  • culturally responsive
  • equity
  • inclusive teaching
  • trauma-informed

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