How can educators manage and support Diversity in an Online Classroom? |

Having a diverse group of students in a class has seen many benefits for everyone around. It has promoted a good learning environment too. Diversity management in a classroom might seem complicated, especially in an online learning environment. Facilitators and teachers have a significant role to play in connecting peers, given the many advantages it gives to the students and creates an easy path for the teachers to provide knowledge. Simple benefits of diversity in an online classroom are encouraging open-mindedness, increasing acceptance of diverse cultures, and helping gain global experience. It is important for a facilitator to make students accept different races, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, ages, religious beliefs, or political convictions.
While building and maintaining a culturally diverse environment in an online classroom, a teacher should know how statements, conversations, and visuals are interpreted.
Tips to Manage Diversity in an Online Classroom
Knowing, adapting, and showing how to manage diversity in the online classroom should reflect in the teaching style of a teacher. A teacher should know the students, should be keen enough to know them, and be empathetic towards each community. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the teacher to maintain a proper learning environment.
Acknowledging and Understanding Cultural Differences
It is the teacher’s responsibility to create a space, where students can freely acknowledge, embrace and share their perspectives on the various aspects of diversity. Encourage students and their different perspectives. Culturally relevant discussions could be discussed easily.
1. Course Design with Diversity in Mind
While designing the course, instructions, materials, techniques, and strategies should be included. The interpretation of images, art, and photography should be considered. The material should be relevant as well as address diverse readers.
2. Address Inequality
Know and learn thoughtful discussions as to how you as a teacher can support everyone in the classroom equally. In the higher degree of education, teachers learn practices to provide equitable education calls. Promote a discussion where everyone gets involved to address the topic. Positivity in language and tone, quick and effective measures for inappropriate comments, and behavior, encouraging acceptance. Say, Lead, and Show.
3. Meet Diverse Learning Needs
Ensuring equal access to everyone for every tool and technology is a good start. For example, speech-to-text software and other technologies are available for physically disabled students. The teaching method should be modified as per the need of the learner. Learning through games, stories, or activities, or blended learning could be adopted.
4. Encourage Interpretation Awareness
Clearly conveying the possibility of interpretations in a certain message, tone or language is important. The use of Edtech and Adaptive learning is a helpful way. Everyone in the classroom should be careful of the effect culture can have. One should be aware or made aware of the signs, gestures, tone, and language one is using for an individual or group and vice-versa. Appropriate colour contrast, alternative text, and description for the visually impaired.
5. Build Connections
This is the simplest way to do it. As a student, when you befriend a person of a different race or creed, you gradually learn to be empathetic and sympathetic toward them. Building connections with each other is a good way to live in harmony and support each other’s culture and beliefs.

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