10 Tips for Fostering Inclusive Learning Environments 

Terms such as inclusivity, diversity, belonging, and equity come up frequently in education research and literature these days, but what do they actually mean in the context of teaching? As we begin to consider how we can be more inclusive in our teaching practices, it is important to have a clear understanding of what “inclusive teaching” means, and to address some common questions and misconceptions about this topic. Although it may feel daunting, there are some simple things we can do as we work towards this goal.  

The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) provides these 10 practices for inclusive teaching:

  1. Ensure your course reflects a diverse society and world. 
  2. Ensure course media are accessible.  
  3. Ensure your syllabus sets the tone for diversity and inclusion.  
  4. Use inclusive language. 
  5. Share your gender pronouns.  
  6. Learn and use students’ preferred names.  
  7. Engage students in a small group introductions activity.  
  8. Use an interest survey to connect with students.  
  9. Offer inclusive office hours.  
  10. Set expectations for valuing diverse viewpoints.  

The ACUE handout includes specific strategies for each of these practices, along with links to videos, samples, and further information about each strategy. As you plan for your next course, begin to consider how you might implement one or more of these or other strategies for inclusive teaching in your own practices.  

We will be exploring some of these topics in our Conference on Innovative Teaching and Student Success later this month and in various workshops that will be offered throughout the academic year. 


Interested in exploring any of these ideas further or discussing how you might implement them in your own teaching practices? Contact CETL or schedule a consultation to continue the conversation. If there are specific topics you would like to see CETL explore, please let us know! We also welcome guest posts from faculty who have a teaching tip they would like to share with their colleagues.