Sent on behalf of Dr. Joseph Morales, Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Susan Roll, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and Joara Jimenz, Director of the DREAM Center.
In an inclusive teaching environment, the concept of extra credit requires careful examination. While faculty strive to introduce engaging and innovative assignments for credit and extra credit, there’s a growing awareness that some of these tasks unintentionally pose barriers or exclude certain students from participation.
Consider an assignment that involves voter registration; it inadvertently excludes students ineligible to vote. Moreover, not every student possesses the flexibility to take on additional tasks due to work commitments or family obligations. Requests for involvement in programs like CalFresh might compromise student privacy and unduly burden University staff or community partners.
To foster equitable class assignments, start by pondering:
• Is the assignment equally accessible to all students?
• Can activities, whether for credit or extra credit, be integrated within class time?
• Are there possibilities to expand the assignment, offer choices, or alternative pathways, ensuring all students can fairly complete it for credit?
Faculty who have implemented these high impact practices have experienced enhanced participation and more fruitful class time conversations. By aligning with students’ circumstances, we can cultivate more inclusive learning environments where every individual enjoys an equitable opportunity for success and feels safe, valued, and respected.
This week instead of a related NCFDD recommendation we want to suggest an upcoming event sponsored by the School of Education. Check out Liz Kleinrock‘s talk, “Cultivating Antibias and Antiracist Educator Identities” on Friday, December 8th from 11am-12pm (Hybrid Event: Zoom and Campus Watch Party Butte 102).