UCSB Course Design for Equity

by Graduate Division Staff
Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:00 AM

Call for graduate student participants
CITRAL Community of Practice for Graduate Students: Course Design for Equity

Are you committed to equity and antiracism and want to strengthen your application of those commitments in your day-to-day teaching? Are you looking for a like-minded community? Are you hoping to develop your teaching and job application materials? Join a group of graduate students to discuss strategies for equitable teaching and workshop your teaching materials! Each participant will receive a $500 stipend.

The community of practice (CoP) will meet three times during Fall 2021 and Winter 2022, for a total of six meetings. Each meeting will last 2.5 hours to provide time for deep work; the specific times will be set based on participants’ availability. Food will be provided (public health guidelines permitting). In addition, there will be preparation work between the meetings as well as opportunities for individual consultations. As part of the community of practice, you will:

  • Network with other thoughtful graduate student teachers

  • Discuss several approaches, tools, and research-based practices that bridge the theory and practice of equitable teaching

  • Receive and provide feedback on teaching materials

  • Draft and tweak a syllabus, two assignments, and a DEI or teaching statement

Each participant who comes to at least five of the six meetings and completes all the associated work will receive a $500 stipend, paid out in Spring 2022. (No academic credit is available.) The CoP will be facilitated by Elina Salminen from the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning; however, this will be a small, collaborative group, and everyone will be welcome to and expected to contribute to us learning together. The CoP will be aspirational as well as practice-oriented, with a focus on what we can do now to build toward a future we would like to see.

While all are encouraged to apply, the community of practice is geared mainly toward graduate students who are further along in their teaching career and who might be looking to prepare materials for the job market. Graduate students from any discipline are invited to apply — CITRAL is hoping for a cross-disciplinary group! Participants must be in good academic standing.

CITRAL strongly encourages you to look through the attached overview; it is a draft and subject to change, but it provides a general sense of the format and content of the CoP. To apply, fill out an application asking about your teaching experience and interests by September 1, 2021. Please email any questions you have to Elina Salminen, salminen@ucsb.edu.


CITRAL Community of Practice: Course Design for Equity


Meeting 1: Introductions

  • Setting goals and group norms

  • Equity frameworks for teaching and learning: D-L Stewart’s equity and justice framework, Universal Design for Learning, bell hooks’ actionable love, Laura Pipe’s and Jennifer Stephens’ Learning Spirit, etc.

Before meeting 2: 

  • Identify a course topic - either one you have taught, will teach, or one you would like to teach. Make sure to have enough of an idea so that you can workshop some course goals, activities, and assignments in meeting 2.

  • Watch video on research into backward design and TILT.

Meeting 2: Unhiding the curriculum - backward design and TILT

  • What do we really want our students to learn?

  • How do we communicate what we want them to learn?

  • Begin workshopping your course design

Before meeting 3: 

  • Complete a draft of your syllabus. This should include a course description and outcomes, overview of activities and assignments, and at least one example of materials-activities-assessment/feedback. 

  • Meet up with a partner to provide and receive feedback on syllabi.

  • Identify one resource on asset-based approaches and come prepared to share what you learned.

Meeting 3: Asset-based assignments 

  • Examples of asset-based courses, assignments, and approaches

  • Begin workshopping one asset-based assignment or course element

Before meeting 4:

  • Complete a draft of one asset-based course element.

  • Identify a writing assignment topic. Make sure to have enough of an idea so that you can workshop the assignment and assessment in meeting 4.

  • Identify one resource on equitable writing instruction and come prepared to share what you learned.  

Meeting 4: Epistemological equity and writing

  • Different ways of knowing - and writing

  • Troublesome knowledge

  • Standardized academic English 

  • Begin workshopping one writing assignment and assessment/feedback/rubric

Before meeting 5:

  • Complete a draft of a writing assignment and assessment/feedback strategy.

  • Identify one example, of your own teaching or that of others, that effectively “disrupted” the conventional hierarchies or boundaries of a classroom.

  • Identify one resource on collaborative approaches and come prepared to share what you learned.

Meeting 5: Collaboration and co-creation

  • Examples of/models for co-creating knowledge with students

  • Examples of/models for co-creating knowledge outside of the classroom

  • Examples of/models for disrupting hierarchies

  • Group discussion: how can we co-create and collaborate in the classroom

Before meeting 6:

  • Draft either a DEI statement or a teaching statement.

  • Collect and, if needed, polish your teaching materials so you are ready to receive feedback on them. 

Meeting 6: Bringing it all together - sharing our learning and work

  • Peer feedback and discussion on teaching materials

  • Planning ahead: how can we cultivate our community going forward