Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Online Classes
Abstract: Professors at colleges and universities are tasked to cultivate an inclusive climate where diversity is celebrated and respected. All students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, identity, age, and ability are welcomed and valued in the higher education learning environment. Purdue University Global is home to students who came to America from many countries. The university understands these students’ perspectives and has launched an initiative to eliminate the term “Standard American English” from the syllabi and curricula and has replaced it with “Standard English” that embraces all the varieties of English. As a result, students can express their ideas freely in writing by employing their own variety of English while observing standard grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure rules. For critical reflection to occur within higher education settings, instructors must first reflect upon their own experiences, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and language use. In this case, language modeled by professors may have lasting implications for students; therefore, professors must be cognizant about what they are saying is what they mean. Careful and intentional self-reflection on one’s own language and transforming it are important aspects of teaching and learning.