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Nuts & Bolts: Building the Foundations of an Inclusive Classroom

Suzanne Lye

Dartmouth College

One of the biggest challenges for creating a more inclusive classroom is breaking up traditional forms of conveying information (the syllabus) and assessing knowledge (exams, papers, discussions). As one of the first introductions to a course, the syllabus itself is often a barrier to student enrollment and engagement. Creating a dynamic teaching and learning environment involves re-thinking our notions of not only course content but also course format and expectations. To that end, this talk discusses strategies for building a collaborative syllabus and using course assessments to create a mindset that “centers the margins” and gives students a greater stake in course content. In this talk, I share specific strategies and “game-based” activities that have worked for large lecture classes, small seminars, and everything in between. With small adjustments, we can build inclusivity into our course syllabi and assessments by making questions and discussions about gender, class, and ethnicity part of the fundamental framework of the course experience.

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Centering the Margins

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