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Center for Teaching Excellence


Diversity in the classroom

Diversity and Inclusivity

How do you best reach all of your students, whatever their background or experiences? How do you create a classroom environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all? We have several workshops and events this semester to help.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.


August 2017

The USC Division of Information Technology (formerly University Technology Services) will host the annual BEST Institute from August 22–23. BEST (Blackboard Educational Software Technologies) provides faculty and instructors the opportunity to explore new technologies and broaden their skills in Blackboard, VoiceThread, i>Clicker and more! Sessions will be held across the Columbia campus during the two-day conference. Be prepared to meet and interact with colleagues while learning to take your classroom instruction to a different level.  More Information

The USC Division of Information Technology (formerly University Technology Services) will host the annual BEST Institute from August 22–23. BEST (Blackboard Educational Software Technologies) provides faculty and instructors the opportunity to explore new technologies and broaden their skills in Blackboard, VoiceThread, i>Clicker and more! Sessions will be held across the Columbia campus during the two-day conference. Be prepared to meet and interact with colleagues while learning to take your classroom instruction to a different level.  More Information

College classrooms are intended to be places where students learn to engage in reasoned discussion about complex issues and learn from others' perspectives. In fact, research has demonstrated that engagement with controversial topics can enhance students' learning and critical reasoning skills. Many faculty members are reluctant, however, to include discussions of controversial topics in their courses because of the challenges that can arise if disagreements become emotionally charged. 

Join facilitator Nicole Fisk for an interactive session that explores strategies for fostering productive classroom discussions. Topics will include identifying course content that may provoke controversy, setting discussion guidelines, introducing sensitive topics and establishing a civil, inclusive classroom environment in which issues are discussed respectfully. The session will end with an open question-and-answer session and a discussion of issues that have arisen in attendees' own teaching.  Register

As higher education evolves and our student body diversifies, teaching today’s undergraduate students has significantly increased in complexity. This interactive workshop will explore research and best practices in engaging and supporting “Generation Z” — students born after 1995 — in the classroom and beyond, addressing motivation, expectations, technology use and approaches to learning.  Register

September 2017

An inclusive classroom is one that promotes diversity of thought and perspective based on students’ background, experiences and individual differences. In this interactive workshop, Moryah Jackson will lead a discussion on the importance of inclusivity in the classroom, share ten practical approaches that will help foster an inclusive classroom and provide resources for additional guidance.  Register

Do you have plans to develop and implement globally-themed content into your course? Are you interested in the International Education Week Faculty Mini-Grant? In this hands-on workshop, you will learn what is included in a globalized course design and how to implement these themes through incorporation of global content in your learning objectives, activities, and assignments.  Register

October 2017

In this interactive workshop, Clayton Copeland will share results from recent research exploring the impact of course accessibility and the integration of tools and resources that facilitate multimodal learning for all students. She will then present concrete strategies for implementing accessibility and multimodal tools and resources into courses. Participants will discuss and collaboratively practice skills for creating accessible courses designed to meet student needs, and the session will conclude with an informal question-and-answer session.  Register

The purpose of the Carolina Intercultural Training is to create a space for faculty and staff to explore strategies for increasing intercultural competence and further understand cross-cultural communication styles. The two-hour workshop is highly interactive and includes information to help navigate common miscommunications between cultures both in the office and classroom setting. 

Topics to address

Statistics and International Student Trends at USC and beyond

What is International Student Services?

Cultural Dimensions and Differences 

Cross-Cultural Case Studies and Discussion

How does this relate to my position?

Those who complete this program will receive a certificate and an “International Friendly Zone” card. The goal of this workshop is for all attendees to become better equipped to promote an inclusive environment on campus for the more than 1,800 international Gamecocks at USC.

Who Should Attend: All USC Columbia faculty and staff   Register

Do you want effective techniques for increasing accessibility and engagement for all learners? Accessibility in course design is often limited to documents, slides, and captioning. By applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to course design from the beginning, we can enhance learning for all learners, not just those with documented disabilities. In this workshop, you will learn about the principles of UDL, and how you can align UDL with all course elements. We will finish the session by designing a course module using UDL principles.  Register

Do you have plans to develop and implement globally-themed content into your course? Are you interested in the International Education Week Faculty Mini-Grant? In this hands-on workshop, you will learn what is included in a globalized course design and how to implement these themes through incorporation of global content in your learning objectives, activities, and assignments.  Register

November 2017

Do you wish you knew how to meet the needs of the international students in your classes without diminishing the experience of your domestic students?  The international student population is rapidly increasing at USC, and with this increase comes some notable benefits to our university, our domestic students, and the overall classroom climate.  These students typically have very strong motivation to succeed but very specific challenges that make classroom content more difficult to access and professor expectations more difficult to understand and meet.  In this workshop, you will learn about the difficulties that international students typically experience and tips on how to facilitate their learning. Participants will develop a plan for making their course content more accessible to international students while also enhancing learning for their domestic students.  Register

Are USC undergraduate student attitudes, priorities and behaviors different from what you are accustomed?  International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) must learn to interpret and handle our students' actions appropriately, but seldom have the opportunity for this learning before stepping into the classroom. This workshop and panel discussion is designed to provide graduate students with the chance to discuss some of the difficulties they might have encountered in American academic culture. This is not a lecture – each workshop participant will identify peculiar aspects of American academic life that s/he has encountered, discuss similarities and differences in ideas, beliefs, or expectations with other participants, and develop a deeper understanding of the role culture plays in academic behavior.  Discussions will be facilitated by a panel of experienced and successful ITAs and faculty members.  Register