DEI Micro-Courses Available to Campus Community – A Deeper Look

August 2, 2021

As the importance of expanding knowledge around diversity, equity, and inclusion grows, the UW-Madison Libraries and the Office of Inclusion Education continue to seek to engage in educational innovation in ways that truly impact campus. Thanks to their partnership, two online micro-courses aimed at expanding the knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) were recently developed and released for use across campus. Through the excellent collaboration by Alex Stark and Sheila Stoeckel in the Libraries Teaching and Learning Programs office and Samantha Becker, formerly from the Office of Inclusion Education, these non-graded, self-paced, and interactive professional learning objects aim to expand learners’ knowledge of social justice, including race in the classroom and to help facilitate discussions around racial topics.

“The hope for these micro-courses is to align with a university-wide interest I think a lot of people have seen in different departments and colleges,” says Samantha. “I hope that the virtual, self-paced nature of these make it easier to engage with at a specific point of need and can be built upon through further development like the kinds of workshops and training that OIE offers.”

The Reflecting on Social Justice Foundational Concepts course focuses on foundational concepts helpful for fostering deeper self-awareness and understanding of other social justice topics. This developmentally sequenced course is intended as a place for reflection on one’s own experience at a pace that feels manageable to each person who completes it. Lessons include social identity, socialization, implicit bias, and micro-messaging. If you are already familiar with some of these concepts, challenge yourself to consider them from new angles or identities. 

“Social justice, anti-racism, and effective allyship all start with knowledge of the self, comfort with self-reflection, and the ability to take action toward our growth and learning alongside others. (Samantha again) The course hopes to do some foundational work for individuals who maybe haven’t known where to start, or provide an opportunity to reassess with the goal of continuous development in mind for those who already have more comfort with these topics.”

The Including and Navigating Race in the Classroom course focuses on the importance of diverse classroom materials, integrating materials into courses, and facilitating conversations around racial topics. This developmentally sequenced course is intended as a starting point for an iterative process of continuous development on best practices for inclusive classrooms. The level of content in this micro-course is appropriate for graduate students and staff 

“These two new online micro-courses aim to strengthen the inclusionary values we hold on campus. The collaboration to make these happen to showcase the strong strategic work possible at UW when we come together. We look forward to seeing more micro-courses on this topic to create a constellation of offerings,” says Sheila Stoeckel, Director of UW-Madison Libraries Teaching & Learning Programs.  

Other micro-course offerings designed with graduate student skills in mind can be viewed on the Libraries Micro-Courses website