Building Inclusive Classrooms

Inclusive learning environments are ones in which students feel that their contributions and perspectives are equally valued and respected. The following pages offer ideas and strategies on how to create and sustain inclusive classrooms, both in person and in online settings.

Additionally, Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom is an online course open to any Cornell instructor, from any discipline and with any level of diversity expertise. Learn more about this course and the next course offering.

Fostering Community and Belonging

Create a community with a shared identity to allow students to develop their place in the group, clearly understand their role, and see how they fit into the larger class.

Collaborative activities and icebreakers help students form connections and learn from each other.

Build trust and rapport by connecting with your students to improve the classroom learning experience.

Learn how you can respond to incidents that impact the climate in teaching & learning.

Engaging Viewpoint Diversity in the Classroom

Find ideas for facilitating the structured exchange of viewpoints in class and how to facilitate difficult and challenging conversations.

Establish community agreements and discuss classroom norms to ensure that all students understand and practice respectful and productive classroom communication.

Consider ways to incorporate diversity and multiple perspectives into your course materials, activities, and assignments.

Using Inclusive Teaching Strategies

Inclusive teaching strategies welcome students with a wide range of backgrounds, characteristics, and expectations so they can have productive learning experiences in your class.

Universal design for learning and accessibility principles ensure that your teaching approaches and course materials meet the needs and abilities of all learners to eliminate unnecessary hurdles in the learning process.

Online learning settings can offer both challenges and opportunities in creating a sense of belonging.