Pedagogy for Diverse Learners

If you are teaching undergraduates in the United States, your students are diverse learners. At a small, rural, university like mine, you may not look at your class and note their diversity at a glance: an overwhelming majority of our students are white, very few use adaptive devices for physical disabilities, a slim percentage of them are over 25 years old, and most were born and raised on the East Coast. Less visible is that they represent a broad spectrum of socioeconomic statuses, learning styles, and disabilities that one cannot immediately see. At Plymouth, nearly half of our student body either comes from a family whose earnings are below what many would consider a living wage, regardless of what our government deems the poverty line, or comes from a family who have never seen one of its members graduate from college, or they have a documented disability, or a combination of the three. In order to support all students, Open Pedagogy and adopting OER seek to help mitigate some of the barriers to success in college for students whose academic and socio-cultural backgrounds might prevent them for accessing curriculum. Below, faculty will find links to resources that speak to the experiences of our students, the rationale for thinking critically about who our pedagogy reaches and who is marginalized, as well as guidance for ensuring our design choices are inclusive for all of our students.