Essential Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

The following resources will help you build courses that are more inclusive of the diverse student body at UNL. Start with the Strategies and Practices for Inclusive Excellence page, an overarching guide to best practices for inclusive teaching. The other resources outline strategies to address specific challenges you may face in your courses.

Moving Forward with Equity

video-meeting-group(video-meeting)Tue-17-Aug This interactive workshop is designed to help you examine your courses from before and during the pandemic to identify the strongest aspects of each. You will reflect on elements such as your syllabus policies, assignments, and student interactions to ensure that your fall courses incorporate the ‘best of both worlds.'

Syllabus Review Guide for Equity-Minded Practice

In order to develop a course that is truly mindful of equity, it is essential to consider how the course syllabus may impact the way that students of differing backgrounds might interpret what is written.


In addition to the guidelines for Links, Images/Video, Structures, and Tables, there are supplemental guidelines and considerations for making your course and course materials accessible.

The Urgency of Inclusive Classrooms: A 6-Week Discussion Series

The Difficult Conversations CASNR Community of Practice, the CASNR Teaching and Learning Improvement Council (TLIC), and the CASNR Dean’s office have come together to create a 6-week summer discussion series (held via Zoom) around inclusive classrooms in our College

Humanize late policies for better learning

You are on a flight back from a conference where you presented your latest work. Your partner calls and tells you that a pipe burst in the basement. They are trying to save what they can, but need your help as soon as you arrive. Unfortunately, you have a report due to your department chair the next morning. You diligently blocked out time to complete it after returning home. As your flight prepares for departure, you grip your phone and send a last-minute email asking for an extension. Upon landing, you check your email.

Humanizing Your Course: Creating an Inclusive Classroom with a "Liquid Syllabus"

The week prior to the start of a course affords an opportunity to incorporate kindness cues of social inclusion (Estrada, et al, 2018). The liquid syllabus is designed to "tell" students, that I, as their instructor, am excited to be a partner with them in their learning.


Properly formatted tables ensure that all users can understand your tabular data. By including headers, captions, and alternative text, your tables can convey the critical information to all users.

Use tables for tabular data only—not for layout structure or organization.

A table is a data table when row headers, column headers, or both are present. A data table specifies a row or column with header information about that row/column. For example, here is a simple data table:


Semantic styles are essential to creating content that is accessible across multiple platforms. These styles encode your layout and document structure into a machine-readable format that assistive technology and mobile devices use when adapting the content for alternative display types. Semantic styles are meaningful styles, as opposed to styles which are purely visual, like making text larger or indented.

Images and Video

Image and video content can present unique obstacles for some users. Using image and video exclusively, without additional descriptive information, limits how some users receive content. Visually-impaired users may not be able to access the image or video. Users with limited internet access may not be able to load larger image or video files. Providing alternative means of conveying image and video content improves access for all users.


Link text indicates specific destinations. Links describe the target resource; in other words, the text of the link tells people where they’re going to end up when they open the link.

  1. Use descriptive links –Writing a descriptive link allows someone using a screen reader to jump from link to link (an auditory equivalent of visually scanning). Placing links as text within a sentence fosters readability.

Additional Materials

Inclusive teaching involves understanding complex topics that can difficult to learn how to navigate. Here are some other external articles that can potentially be helpful to figure out how to think about your relationship with inclusivity:

Fresh Voices on Inclusive Teaching

Our goal at the Center for Transformative Teaching is to collaborate with instructors to find tools and resources to create the best possible learning environment across disciplines. Due to this mission, we also want to highlight emerging scholars that help promote inclusive, innovative, and effective teaching methods. To help inspire research on Inclusive Teaching, we have included some select recent articles.

Important Concepts for Inclusive Teaching

To ensure the inclusion of all students in a classroom, discussion must be approached in a way that recognizes and values differing perspectives. There are multiple ways to achieve this learning environment; some examples include:

Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive Teaching is a philosophy based on the premise of ensuring all students have the same access to education by modifying teaching and assessment techniques to include all students.

Implementing Inclusive Excellence into Virtual Learning Environments

This guide provides resources and tips for faculty to continue teaching in ways that are equitable and inclusive as they move to teach face-to-face classes online and in flexible hybrid modes.

Inclusive Excellence

When designing courses, either online or in-person, it is essential to remember that not all of our students are the same. Just as no two faculty members would teach a course in the same way, no two students are going to engage with our course exactly the same. The challenge is to design course materials that allow all students to be equally successful independent of their personal characteristics. This is especially important to consider when teaching online because it can be harder to notice students that fall behind or stop participating in our courses.

Essential Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

These resources will help you build courses that are more inclusive of the diverse student body at UNL. We recommend starting with the Strategies and Practices for Inclusive Excellence page, which is an overarching guide to best practices for inclusive teaching. The other resources outline strategies to address specific challenges you may face in your courses.

Personal Practices for Inclusivity

Inclusivity in education has never been more important or more possible. Use this guide to aid you in developing your courses as well as yourself to achieve more welcoming and effective learning environments.

Inclusiveness in Course Planning

Use this guide to aid you in developing your courses to achieve more welcoming and effective learning environments.

Strategies and Practices for Inclusive Excellence

Use this guide to help you develop inclusive courses and create more welcoming and effective learning environments.

Building an Inclusive Classroom

Conducted on July 17, this workshop shares several strategies to model inclusivity and establish a respectful and supportive classroom culture where all students feel comfortable fully participating in course activities.

Using Movie Analysis to Promote Inclusive Learning

I assigned movies along with academic texts/readings to promote inclusive learning. In this way, movies (classic and contemporary) served as a pathway to course concepts and ideas (and vice versa!).

Cultivating an inclusive classroom environment from day one

This tipsheet is the first of a series designed to provide simple, generally applicable, tips on specific topics to enhance the inclusiveness of your courses. This tipsheet addresses the syllabus, first day of class, and the first assignment.

How to Help Your First-Generation Students Succeed

First-generation students often lack the parental guidance and prior knowledge about how to succeed in college that many of their peers enjoy. This video explains steps you can take as an instructor to help our first-generation students succeed.

We are TRIO

TRIO is a college access and success program that helps first-generation students earn their college degree.

Exercising Empathy and Social Research Practices

Exercising Empathy helps students do away with the “self-centric bias” that often creates a pre-set rhetorical agenda and that provokes a mechanical execution of writing and researching.

Captioning Videos for Accessibility

This presentation explains the importance of captioning videos for accessibility and Universal Design and how VidGrid can be used to caption videos.

Motivations For Learning: A Culturally Relevant Approach

Articulate two culturally-informed kinds of motivations students have for learning.

Using Accessibility Checker for Course Materials in Canvas and MS Office

This presentation focuses on making course materials more accessible and working towards Universal Design for a biology course.