Inclusive Pedagogy: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments

ROOM: HCCC, Room 23
Student diversity in the typical wildlife classroom has changed substantially over the last several decades. This diversity is found in our first generation students, ethnic and gender diversity, veterans, and single parents. But, has the classroom climate adapted to be welcoming and inclusive of the greater diversity we now encounter? Many faculty may not be fully aware of the diverse nature of their students and how to effectively engage them with course material. The purpose of this symposium is to bring to the forefront the approaches we can incorporate to make our classrooms more welcoming and inclusive learning environments for the diversity of students in our classrooms. We will have educator and student presentations, a panel discussion, and a working session to help current and future educators devise approaches they can integrate into their classroom to be more inclusive. The intent is that students and educators who attend and participate in this session will leave with a better understanding of the challenges some students face in the classroom and how we as teachers can adapt our pedagogy to create a more welcoming and comfortable space while maintaining the rigor of our instruction. In addition, we will address how diversity in the classroom can enhance the learning experience for students and instructors.

12:50PM “You Talking to Me? -De Niro” and Other Things Your Students Think and Say
  Mark E. Lee
The contemporary college classroom is comprised of students who are diverse in their backgrounds, levels of preparation, and interests in the primary subject. If we are to meet the needs of this diverse student population, we may need to employ varied instructional and assessment methods to reach, teach and inspire these students. Varied instructional methods are one approach to take our strengths as scientists into the classroom and produce learning outcomes from those strengths. We must have the courage to change our language from teaching to learning. As we focus on learning, we should then approach our role in facilitating this learning through a scientific teaching theoretical framework. Scientific Teaching will give all learners an opportunity to gain knowledge and instructors a mechanism for continued improvement. An inclusive instructional environment will involve active learning exercises that are evaluated through formative and summative assessment of the learning activities. If we are inclusive in our instruction, we have the opportunity to enhance the quality of science education and create a more diverse scientific community.
1:30PM Inclusion Matters in Wildlife Education: Why Does Inclusion Matter and How Can You Create an Inclusive Learning Environment?
  Sarah M. Karpanty
Research across many disciplines has demonstrated that diversity increases an organization’s success in solving the most challenging problems. The first step in increasing diversity in the wildlife workforce, and thus reaping the benefits of diverse teams in solving complex conservation and management challenges, is to create an inclusive learning environment for our wildlife students. I will use data from Virginia Tech’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation to describe changing trends in our student population and to discuss the prevalence of intersecting racial, cultural and socioeconomic diversity in our classrooms. I will define key principles of inclusion that wildlife educators should consider incorporating in their classrooms to engage the diverse backgrounds of our students. Finally, I will present examples of best practices, and feedback of students who have engaged in these practices, from both a large introductory Principles of Fish and Wildlife Management class and a smaller, field based capstone Conservation Biology class at Virginia Tech. My goal is to present data to justify incorporation of principles of inclusion into our classrooms and a toolkit of best practices for attendees to use in their classrooms.
1:50PM Student Panel Member
  Ivy Widick; Akea Cader; Miranda Millikin; Ty Werdel
An inclusive teaching environment requires that the instructor see their students as more than bodies in a chair. This panel will be led by students who will share their background and experiences, and discuss, from a student’s perspective, what they wish instructors understood about them. They will address how instructors can be more welcoming and inclusive in the classroom. The panel discussion will include a facilitated question and answer period. Participants include Akea Cader, Virginia Tech; Miranda Millikin, Michigan State University; Ty Werdel, Kansas State University; and, Ivy Widick, Humboldt State University.
2:30PM Refreshment Break
3:20PM Online Professional Development Platforms: Opportunities for Building Inclusive Learning Environments
  Henry Campa III; Bennett Goldberg; Sarah Hokanson
Student diversity in wildlife programs has changed dramatically over the last 40 years. As a result, many current faculty may not be aware of the diverse nature of their students, how to effectively engage them with course material, and/or how to leverage this diversity to make a more enriching and inclusive teaching and learning environment. Perhaps, more importantly our future faculty members-current graduate students and postdocs, may not be aware of professional development opportunities available to them to enhance their preparation for creating inclusive learning environments for tomorrow. The purpose of this session is to introduce participants to online synchronous (e.g., online courses and active learning workshops) and asynchronous (e.g., MOOCs-Massive Open Online Courses, see resources offered through the NSF-funded Center for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) ( on inclusive teaching. To date, approximately 15,000 participants worldwide have engaged with CIRTL evidence-based teaching MOOCs alone to enhance the quality of undergraduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In this session, examples of online resources addressing several guiding principles associated with inclusive pedagogies will be discussed including: re-examining your assumptions about your students and how you teach, use examples and how they are described, modeling the use of inclusive language, being careful with microinequities, and establishing ground rules for interactions and engaging with course material.
3:40PM Incorporating Inclusive Pedagogy in Field Classes
  Daniel C. Barton
4:40PM Inclusive Pedagogy Panel Discussion
  Dean F. Stauffer
As awareness of the need for inclusive pedagogy increases, many instructors may desire to develop a more inclusive classroom, yet may not be aware of the options that are available to them. This panel discussion will address some means of being inclusive in the venues used in wildlife education. Rique Campa from Michigan State University will address inclusive pedagogy for online platforms, Sarah Karpanty from Virginia Tech will discuss incorporating inclusive teaching for large classes, and Daniel Barton from Humboldt State University will present options to achieve inclusiveness in field classes. Following the panel’s remarks there will be a facilitated discussion regarding how these tools can be integrated into the classroom.

Organizers: Dean F. Stauffer, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; Sarah Karpanty, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; Henry (Rique) Campa III, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Supported by: TWS College and University Education Working Group; TWS Ethnic and Gender Diversity Working Group; TWS Native Peoples’ WIldlife Management Working Group

Location: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland Date: October 11, 2018 Time: 12:50 pm - 5:00 pm