Effective, Inclusive, and Anti-Racist Teaching: Spring 2021

Discussions among faculty, and in faculty-student working groups, have yielded a number of strategies and techniques for creating and enhancing an inclusive learning experience. These techniques are described in some detail in the Inclusive Classroom Strategies document.

Additional resources on inclusive pedagogy can be found here. 

Tools, Strategies and Approaches: Survey Results

These strategies were suggested by respondents to a survey to interested faculty on their tools and strategies they use in the classroom to address race. The survey remains open, and we invite faculty to complete the survey to share additional tools and strategies with each other.

●      Class lists with pictures and student biographical information are available on LawNet. LawNet also contains the names preferred by your students (if different than the name in the class list), audio of the name pronunciation, and students’ preferred pronouns (if one is indicated). You can access a guide to the LawNet Directory here. In our conversations, students express appreciation for professors’ efforts to learn and pronounce their names.

●      Seating charts will be available for hybrid and in-person classes and can be created on Google docs.  Faculty assistants have been instructed in creating seating charts.  For remote classes, faculty should encourage students to make use of the “Rename” feature in Zoom to reflect their preferred names and pronouns.

●      This semester, all class sessions will be recorded and made available on CourseWorks, unless a faculty member opts out for a specific reason.

●      Some students will be participating in class sessions from locations that make real-time attendance difficult or impossible. Students have been instructed to contact their professors if they are unable to attend classes synchronously to work out an individualized plan. You can access further guidance relating to asynchronous class attendance and participation here.

●      Many faculty choose to cancel or record classes for religious holidays. Religious holidays for this school year are listed here.

●      For in person classes, remember to make and reinforce consistent use of microphones in class—even if participants’ unamplified voices are audible to the individuals present. This is critically important to allow students attending class remotely to hear students who are in the classroom. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) may be enabled within Echo360 to transcribe video recordings. Other forms of transcription may be utilized if such an accommodation is authorized by the Office of Disability Services. Please contact Jennifer Braden in Student Services with questions regarding transcription accommodations.

●      Columbia Law School is committed to the full inclusion of students with all abilities in the life of the University. Some professors have found it useful to place language describing our accommodation policy in the syllabus. You can find sample language here. This semester, the policy will be applied with flexibility to accommodate students who may have compelling medical and family issues.

●      Regarding accommodations, if you are teaching in the classroom, you should reserve seats for students with physical disabilities. Additional guidelines can be found here.