Diversity, inclusion, and accessibility benefit us all. Yet there exist few systematic efforts to infuse diversity, inclusion, and accessibility throughout higher education programs. Too often, these subjects are relegated to a single week within a course, if they are addressed at all. To engage students in curricular improvement efforts, a student organization at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies created the iDiversity curriculum development project. This project promotes diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, while also improving student involvement and agency in the College’s curriculum development activities. Project contributors examine course syllabi, create discussion points, and compile suggested course materials to infuse diversity throughout each course’s syllabi. This student-led project allows for changes ranging from a single course to a broad-based reevaluation of curriculum design process.
The overarching goal of this student-led curriculum development project is to incorporate diversity, inclusion, and accessibility into every course taught at the iSchool and better ensure students are equipped with the knowledge needed to further promote diversity, inclusion, and accessibility within the information professions. This project supports students interested in playing an active leadership role in improving their own education, while also developing their curriculum design and project management skills. It also helps offset some of the curricular development workload traditionally assigned to instructors. Using iDiversity’s curriculum development project as a model, students in other institutions and disciplines can partner with instructors to reevaluate their curricula and make a conscious effort to bring diversity, inclusion, and accessibility to the forefront of their education.
Lindsay T. Inge, Project Co-lead
Elizabeth Lieutenant, Project Co-lead
Related Publications and Presentations
- iDiversity. (2016). iDiversity curriculum development project guide. Inge, L. T., & Lieutenant, E. (Eds.). College Park, MD: iDiversity.
- Inge, L. T., & Lieutenant, E. (2016). Student engagement in curricular innovation: Scaling iDiversity’s curriculum development project across campus. University of Maryland at College Park, Division of Information Technology and Teaching & Learning Transformation Center: Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference. College Park, MD, April 29, 2016. dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.2753.1126.
- Lieutenant, E., & Inge, L. T. (2016). Student leaders, student-teachers: Embedding diversity into LIS education through iDiversity’s curriculum development project. Simmons College, School of Library and Information Science: DERAIL Forum on Diversity, Equity, Race, Accessibility, and Identity in LIS. Boston, MA, March 26, 2016. dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.3641.7682.
- iDiversity. (2016). Seminar in international and comparative library and information science: Talking points and suggested readings. Inge, L. T., & Lieutenant, E. (Eds.). College Park, MD: iDiversity.