Learning professionals are increasingly asked to improve diversity and inclusion in their projects. Delegating this task to a handful of people, or worse, a lone designer, is ineffective because issues related to racial inequities and marginalization are pervasive. All areas of the learner’s experience need to be considered: Are assumptions made about learners’ gender during registration? Does the course content include diverse perspectives and representation? To intentionally approach this work with continuous improvement in mind, you need time, energy, resources, and buy-in from stakeholders. Designing or redesigning equitable learning experiences requires a holistic approach.

In this session, you will explore how Harvard Catalyst Postgraduate Education Program uses interdisciplinary, peer-led working groups to advance equity and inclusion in course design and delivery. We will begin by defining equity, understanding how it can guide your team in thinking deeper about the issues you’re addressing, and exploring ways in which those issues can impact your audience. Next, you will identify the different aspects of your learners’ experience with your course from beginning to end and learn to form peer-led working groups that focus on improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in these areas. We will explore strategies for effectively collaborating with your peers, developing norms, managing time, effectively facilitating, and setting expectations within your working groups. Finally, you will discover how to use project management strategies to monitor and evaluate the changes your team has implemented. After examining real-world examples, you will leave with a sustainable approach to advancing equity in the design or redesign of your courses, while enhancing the way your team operates in the workplace.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to make equitable decisions as a team that impact the inclusive design of your courses
  • Techniques to assess your processes with equity in mind to determine the type and scope of each working group to be formed
  • Ways to effectively facilitate communication within peer-led working groups that can improve lateral leadership skills
  • How to use the right project management strategy for implementing, monitoring, and evaluating change