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Inclusive Teaching

"Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution” (UNESCO).

OER can include courses, modules, textbooks, multimedia, assessments, and supplementary material like slide banks and workbooks. OER makes education more accessible and affordable for students as well as allowing instructors to modify and customize teaching materials for their particular needs.

Visit the Library's Guide to Open Educational Resources

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles “that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn… a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone—“not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs” (CAST). UDL "fosters student independence and autonomy, avoids stigmatizing individual students, and creates a more inclusive and welcoming education setting for everyone” (OHRC, Policy on Accessible Education)

 (google doc) Best Practices: Universal Design in the University Classroom (external link) 

 (google doc) Universal Design, Flexible Teaching, and Academic Accommodations in Remote Teaching (external link) 

Land Acknowledgement and Protocol

"Toronto is in the 'Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect."

Truth and Reconciliation

Additional resources for teaching and learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:

Video Resources: Reconciliation and Education

The Blanket Exercise

What is the Blanket Exercise? A teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (external link)  which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation, the Blanket Exercise covers over 500 years of history in a one and a half hour participatory workshop. 

Indigenous Knowledge for Education

Video Resources

Indigenizing the Academy

Video Resources

Learning from the Land

Video Resources

When students struggle mentally, the impact manifests itself in academic performance. Stress, anxiety, and depression “decrease students’ intellectual and emotional flexibility, weaken their creativity, and undermine their interest in new knowledge, ideas, and experiences” (Douce & Keeling, 2014). Depression can suppress the brains ability to form new memories. Chronic stress has been shown to reduce “the desire to explore new ideas and to solve problems” (Stixrud, 2012).

To support student learning, instructors should aim to create conditions supporting mental wellbeing, and thus learning, through teaching practices. Instructors can benefit from a supportive classroom environment as well—in the words of Jennifer Poole, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, creating a classroom environment that supports mental wellbeing leads to “more engaged and committed students, better relationships, [and] higher work quality.”

 (google doc) Best Practices: Mental Wellbeing in the Classroom (external link) 

 (google slide) Student Wellness Slide Deck (external link) 

Created by the Office of the Vice Provost, Students (OVPS), faculty and instructors are invited to share the COVID-19 Remote Services slide deck with students looking for academic support, engagement opportunities with other students or resources to maintain your mental and emotional well-being. 


Flexibility is a foundational principle of an inclusive classroom. A movement towards flexible learning supports a more equitable experience of education for all learners.  Instructors can create opportunities for flexible education in any of the following areas:

  • Time: The pace of a course and the timing of assessments
  • Content: The topics covered, the sequence of topics, the types of learning materials, the range of assessment methods
  • Instructional Approach/Design: the “social organization of learning,” whether that means group learning, individual or independent learning, and the format of learning resources, and the “origin of learning resources” (instructors, students, library, Internet)
  • Delivery: place of study (on campus, off campus, blended, flipped, work-based), opportunities for contact with instructors and/or students, methods of support, and content delivery and communication channels (Palmer, 2011).

 (PDF file) Best Practices: Flexible Learning

Writing in a second or other language at the university level is one of the biggest challenges many English as an Additional Language (EAL) students face. Some students find the process extremely frustrating, as they consider themselves to be competent, confident, and articulate writers in their first language, but find that they do not have the vocabulary or the command of complex grammatical structures that are needed to convey their ideas into English. 

The Centre has collaborated with English Language Support in developing some tips for supporting EAL students in their writing. 

 (google doc) Best Practices: Supporting EAL Learners (external link) 


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