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Monday, November 9 • 3:00pm - 3:25pm
Using Open Content to Create a Culturally Relevant Classroom

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The experience students have in the college classroom and with faculty are one of the most important factors in determining whether they persist in their courses, feel a sense of belonging on their campuses, and ultimately earn a degree. However, far too often classroom instruction is not designed in such a way that reflects the lived experiences and cultures of non-traditional and traditionally underserved students, an omission that only exacerbates the achievement gaps that persist between Black, Hispanic and low-income students and their white and wealthier peers. To improve the classroom experience for these students, faculty need to intentionally design and teach courses that acknowledge and embrace student diversity in all its forms by employing culturally relevant teaching practices.

Culturally relevant teaching practices position the learner's cultural identities at the core of the learning process and use the learner's cultural knowledge, experiences, and frames of reference to help the them succeed in the course. Culturally relevant teaching practices can be extended to the course materials as well when used with openly licensed content. Because it is openly licensed, OER can be adapted by faculty or students in ways that reflect students’ experiences and cultural identities and support the culturally relevant classroom.

During this session, Ruanda Garth-McCullough, Associate Director of Teaching and Learning for Achieving the Dream, and Richard Sebastian, Director of Open and Digital Learning for Achieving the Dream, will describe the culturally relevant teaching framework, why it is an effective strategy to employ, especially for traditionally underserved students, and how openly licensed materials can be used to enable and support culturally relevant teaching in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes:
During this presentation attendees will be able to:
* Explain what culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is and why it is an effective teaching strategy
* Describe the unique ways openly licensed content can be used to facilitate and enable CRT
* Share relevant examples of how college faculty have used openly licensed materials to support CRT in their classrooms

avatar for Richard Sebastian

Richard Sebastian

Director, Open and Digital Learning, Achieving the Dream
As Achieving the Dream’s Director of Open and Digital Learning, Dr. Sebastian helps ATD’s Network colleges advance open and digital teaching and learning practices to support equitable outcomes for students and facilitate whole college transformation. Dr. Sebastian is a national... Read More →
avatar for Ruanda Garth-McCullough

Ruanda Garth-McCullough

Director of Program Development, Achieving the Dream
Ruanda Garth-McCullough, PhD.,  is the Director of Program Development at Achieving the Dream. She leads the development of equity-minded teaching and learning services and manages the Every Learner Everywhere initiative. Previously for 12 years, Ruanda was a faculty member in... Read More →

Monday November 9, 2020 3:00pm - 3:25pm EST
Concurrent 1
  Social Justice, Presentation