Ensuring Equity and Access

Ensuring Equity and Access

The college classroom is a space where every student ought to feel a sense of belonging, and where students with a range of abilities, identities, and perspectives can thrive. Few, if any of us, would disagree with that statement. However, the remote learning environment can pose unique challenges to facilitating a sense of belonging. Removing the pedagogical, social-emotional, socioeconomic, and other barriers that sometimes conspire to undermine equity is trickier in a hybrid or remote setting than face-to-face.

Happily, you don’t have to be an expert in accessibility and inclusive design to build in practices that serve all learners. Consider taking advantage of this transition time to front-load accessibility and equity from the get-go. Anticipating diversity in all its forms, including its expression in differing abilities and needs, can help you identify strategies that provide equity and access. It can also guide you toward representing multiple student identities in your course material, lesson plans, and assessment tools.

This page offers a wealth of information and ideas as well as tools and techniques. They’re meant to help you enable your students’ equitable access to course materials and learning spaces in a hybrid or remote setting. The suggestions are compiled from conversations with Colgate faculty and students, from responses to surveys sent out early this summer, and from the task force’s own research and findings.

Try This

Resources at Colgate

Other Resources

  • A guide to accessibility and equity in online course design can be found on the Stanford University webpage. Consider also this list of tips from the University of Washington, or this list of core skills from University of Minnesota.
  • A version of this survey can help you get to know your students better.


Content on this page was adapted from the University of Washington’s Inclusive Teaching resources, the Explore Access page at the University of Arkansas, and Aimi Hamraie’s Accessible Teaching in the Times of Covid-19 ; All these pages were published under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 license.