Overlapping Evidence-Based Practices Using Growth Mindset, Trauma-Informed, and Inclusive Teaching

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In Spring 2022 we had talks from three nationally recognized speakers on the following topics: inclusive teaching, promoting growth mindset, and trauma-informed education. Here are the descriptions of and links to each talk.

  • Growth Mindset: As Dr. Angie Bauer argued, we promote learning and resilience and reduce equity gaps when instructors and students embrace the idea that abilities can be changed and developed (Yeager & Dweck, 2020).
  • Inclusive Teaching: Dr. Addy’s IDI keynote shared more about inclusive teaching as “being responsive to the diversity our class and designing learning environments that include all of our students” (Addy, 2021).
  • Trauma-Informed Education: Dr. Mays Imad asserted that learning is promoted through class environments characterized by security or predictability, transparent communication, peer support, shared decisions, promoting student strengths, recognizing diversity and identity, and a sense of purpose (Imad, 2020).

Applying all three approaches to your work may seem daunting, but there are common, evidence-based teaching strategies that achieve all at once. We list them below, along with how they “fit” each category and linked resources.

Pre-Semester or Early in the Semester

Use positive, student-centered syllabus language.

Gather info to learn about students & build rapport.

Align learning outcomes with what you teach & assess.

  • Growth mindset: Provides outcomes clearly; students can self-assess growth 
  • Inclusive: Sets transparent goals for all and links assessment to them 
  • Trauma-informed: Promotes security with transparent communication 
  • Tools & ideas:

Discuss growth mindset and its impacts with students.

During the Semester

Publish rubrics in advance and use them for grading.

Use active and problem-based learning.

Collect and respond to exam wrapper or mid-term feedback.

  • Growth mindset: Models growth mindset as you show openness to change. 
  • Inclusive: Respects all student voices and promotes reflection 
  • Trauma-informed: Promotes reflection on strengths and shared decisions 
  • Tools & ideas:

Use multiple methods of assessment.

Late in Semester or Post-Semester

Consider authentic assessments vs. “final exams."

 

Collect and reflect upon student feedback.

LTDC Virtual Showcase (June 21 & 22, 2022)

Submit a Proposal

The UW System Learning Technology Development Council (LTDC) is now accepting proposals for their annual virtual showcase. The theme for this year’s conference is “On Resourcefulness and Resiliency” with three tracks: “Student Experience and Success”, “Instructional Pedagogy”, and “Leveraging Learning Technology.” Proposals for both live sessions and pre-recorded short videos (TechTalks) are welcome. The deadline to submit proposals has been extended to Monday, May 9 at 12 p.m. Learn more and apply.

Register to Attend

Register to attend this free virtual conference on June 21 & 22, 2022! The showcase includes panels, presentations, and TechTalk virtual sessions in polysynchronous format (i.e., some presentations are pre-recorded while others are “live”). Register here.

Theme and Keynote

On Resourcefulness and Resiliency

The pandemic has taught us much as it relates to defining the student experience, helping our students find success, designing impactful learning experiences, and leveraging technology to promote deeper learning. Some things worked. Some things didn’t work. Yet as time goes on, we continue to learn, grow, and find new and better ways to improve our teaching, course design, and sense of belonging.

With no playbook on how to navigate a pandemic, we have found ways to strengthen our resourcefulness and resiliency. At times, we practiced resiliency to cope with constant changes. Other times we had to rely on our resourcefulness when sudden pivots were needed.

Reflecting on our journey, sharing our experiences, learning from them, and taking the knowledge gained into our next experiences is key to personal and professional growth. Join us this summer as we explore these themes of resourcefulness and resiliency as we emerge from the pandemic and define what becomes our new normal for teaching, learning, and the intentional use of technology.

Join keynote speakers Merlyna Valentine, international speaker, author, and consultant, and Katie Linder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Digital Strategy and Learning at the University of Colorado-Denver, instructors, and staff throughout UW-System on June 21 & 22, 2022 as we explore the themes of resourcefulness and resiliency as we design the new normal for teaching and learning.

Follow-Up: Planning for Our Pedagogical Futures

Below is the recording of the presentation and discussion with Christin DePouw “Planning for Our Pedagogical Futures” from Thursday, Apr. 21, 2022. We’ve provided the video as a PlayPosit bulb so that you can engage with questions from the workshop facilitator.

To view the bulb, type your first and last name, then click “Save.”

Additional Sources & Reading

Follow-Up: Culturally Sustaining/Responsive Pedagogy in the “After” of the Pandemic

Below is the recording of the presentation and discussion with Christin DePouw “Culturally Sustaining/Responsive Pedagogy in the ‘After’ of the Pandemic” from Thursday, Mar. 31, 2022. We’ve provided the video as a PlayPosit bulb so that you can engage with questions from the workshop facilitator.

To view the bulb, type your first and last name, then click “Save.”

How Can We Help Our Student Parents?

Follow-Up: Student Parent Advocacy Workshop

This post was co-authored by Dr. Katia Levintova, a 2021-22 EDI Consultant, and Shannon Ribich, a 2021-22 EDI Intern.

How much do any of us know about the number of student parents in our classes or on our campus in general? What educational resources and solutions do our student parents want that we can, or already do, offer?

According to a campus survey and the childcare support program at the Dean of Students office, UWGB numbers are consistent with national statistics—about 16–20% of our students are also parents. They encompass all genders, they are veterans and consummate professionals, they are first generation students and returning students, and they represent various ethnic and racial groups. In many ways, they are just like the rest of our student body, but in many ways they are not. For one, student parents not only work 30+ hours a week on average, but also devote 10 hours a day to childcare responsibilities, leaving them with only 9 hours a day for sleeping, taking classes, studying, and any leisure activities. These precious 9 hours also often come in small increments, not in one block of time that coincides with typical class offerings.

Our student parents are also routinely disadvantaged when it comes to classroom policies, especially involving attendance and group work. They lack access to many high-impact practices or HIPs (especially study abroad opportunities, teaching assistantships, and leadership of student orgs), campus resources, and on-campus events. They do not have a sense of belonging on campus, but they value support, encouragement, and recognition of their dedication and persistence. And support has been coming, albeit not very fast.

The Taskforce on Student Caregiving, a new subcommittee of the UW System Caregiving Taskforce, recommends centralization of information about on campus resources and allies for student parents, priority course registration, better data collection reflecting the student parent population on campus, childcare subsidies, and universal childcare acknowledgements/statements in the syllabi. Nationally recognized best practices also include student parent-led and -focused campus orgs (to build community and network), specialized advising (ex: student orientation designed for student parents), cohorts, inclusion of student parents in marketing and campus materials, and access to changing tables and lactation rooms.

Some of these recommendations have already been implemented on our campus. Take, for example, our Dean of Students’ childcare support program, funded both by the federal grant and by UWGB SGA childcare student fees. We do have a lactation room and meeting rooms specifically for student parents, but more needs to be done. To this end, participants in the “Student Parent Advocacy Workshop” (held on campus on March 24, 2022) brought up several solutions that we can implement with relative ease and without major financial implications.

  • Priority registration was one universal theme and, in this regard, the work on our campus has begun. Participants also stressed the need for more evening classes options for in-person courses, like labs and practicums, though increased evening, online, and hybrid offerings for student parents should extend beyond the sciences and medical fields.
  • Another proposed initiative would aggregate all available student parents-related resources on campus—including the priority registration process—on one page, to be linked from the Dean of Students childcare support program page.
  • In our classrooms, CATL can help by adding to already existing syllabus checklists two additional items: (1) a child care syllabus statement and (2) sample attendance policies ensuring that all pregnancy and caregiving-related absences will be automatically excused.
  • Student parents are often distracted by the needs of their children and have shorter uninterrupted periods of time to devote to their studies. While preparing course materials, instructors might consider using shorter videos or reading materials (or breaking up longer materials into smaller chunks) which makes it easier to digest and retain the information.
  • For access to HIPs, there is funding available in the Dean of Students’ childcare support program specific for participation in HIPs. However, we also need to promote these learning experiences to student parents and be more intentional about inviting them to participate in undergraduate research, teaching assistantships, and internships—the three HIPs that seem to be more accessible to student parents. For study broad access (a persistent problem), shorter trips or a destination with childcare facilities on campus might offer partial solutions as well.

So, what is next? Please expect continued work by student parent advocates and allies on our campus. You will recognize them by the “Student Parent Advocate” badges that were awarded for participating in this year’s programs highlighting student caregiving.

If all of us are more aware of the increasing presence of student parents on our campus and in our classrooms, are sensitive to their unique needs, and make these sensible changes in our teaching and student support roles, we will create a more inclusive community where student parents, too, feel a sense of belonging. They are, after all, truly modeling the essence of transformative education for the next generation of learners and, potentially, our future students!