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In The Margins

Feb 4, 2021

As we only begin to scratch the surface regarding adjustments to online higher education resulting from the onset of COVID-19, a second session has been added to continue this important conversation. Join Cooplew and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education for Part II of this dialogue as we dive into three more big diversity-related questions with our panelists. 

In this episode, we explore what the ‘new normal’ would look like, the adjustments to make to our instructional design, equity, and assessment to this unique situation, as well as seizing the many new learning moments and opportunities this pandemic has offered. We also explore the different methods used to account for underprivileged students as we move into a new space and mode of higher education, as well as ways to serve and care for vulnerable communities. Find out how we can move to the online space without compromising on academic expectations and experiences, and how to shift our mindsets and start finding innovative ways to create new opportunities and atmospheres for students to learn in this unique online environment. 

There is much to be explored in this topic, tune in to join the conversation now.



Leanne Wieland, Instructional Designer, Forsyth Technical Community College

Dr. Sean Huddleston, President, Martin University

Dr. William T. Lewis, Sr., Cofounder, Cooplew



  • What is the impact on instructional design, equity, and assessment?
  • What should diversity professionals do to seize the moment?
  • What does the new normal look like?
  • Ways to account for and serve our underprivileged students. 
  • Dealing with virtual biases in an online campus. 
  • Planning for and handling new student intakes. 



“But I do want to sort of give the encouragement that just because this is an exceptional situation, it doesn't mean that overnight, you are expected to become an exceptional online teacher.” 

“What we have to do now, in my opinion, is always continue to think about creating relationships. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. And so we have to now think very critically and innovatively in terms of how, by using the online and the virtual environment, to create a community for those most vulnerable populations.” 

“If you're an instructor and the student is logging on, participating in synchronous video chats, turning things into the links on time, it's easy, in your unconscious bias, to want to grade that student higher and say that student is performing really well in this tough situation. What you may not be sort of paying proper attention to is the fact that the student who may not have that digital literacy isn't not trying and isn't not doing the work, they may just not be as proficient at the technical part of doing the assessment.” 



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