New Grant Creates Opportunities to Increase Diverse Voices in Course Materials

The Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) is expanding their scope this autumn by piloting a racial justice grant. This new opportunity will support instructors who are incorporating assignments, resources and approaches for teaching students about issues facing Black Americans and other marginalized groups. Grant winners will infuse their curricula with diverse voices and invite conversations around racial justice across disciplines and Ohio State campuses.

Nine grant winners were selected to receive $500 to support their efforts in incorporating a racial justice component into their course this fall. All newly added resources will be open or made freely available, supporting our efforts to reduce the cost of course materials at Ohio State.

SĂ©bastien Proulx - Design, Columbus

Dr. Proulx will build a framework for existing resources by choosing project topics to advance reflection around racial justice. In addition, all projects selected for the senior thesis will be required to include issues pertaining to diversity.

Adrienne Hopson - Biology, Mansfield

Dr. Hopson will include topics related to experiences with healthcare and nutrition and food access, as they relate to women and people of color, particularly Black people in the U.S. Issues such as access, insurance, diagnosis, treatment and doctor interactions will be discussed.

David Stein - Educational Studies, Columbus

Dr. Stein will include a module on inequities in distance education, related to the intersection of race, income, availability to the internet and tools needed to access online instruction. The module will explore online education’s unintended hidden racial bias in the design and delivery of instruction.

Peggy Lindsey - English, Ohio State ATI

In this developmental writing course, Dr. Lindsey will include several readings related to diversity and inclusivity. Students will read, summarize and synthesize these readings to create collaborative and individual essays analyzing depictions of race and gender in advertising. She will also employ anti-racist pedagogical practices such as labor-based assessment and contract grading.

Timothy Bussey - Political Science, Newark

Dr. Bussey will teach students about the impact of colonialism in African politics, while also explaining how the legacy of colonialism impacts U.S. foreign policy today. They will conclude the course with a stand-alone activity, which will center discussions of anti-racism and anti-imperialism.

Mark Moritz - Anthropology, Columbus

Dr. Moritz will expand on the curriculum on race and racism already taught in four introductory Anthropology courses, while developing an overarching framework to provide a comprehensive approach across subfields. He will also develop workshops for graduate teaching assistants, to better prepare them to teach these topics.

Don Terndrup - Astronomy, Columbus

Dr. Terndrup will look at statistics on minority enrollment in Astronomy and Physics at Ohio State vs. minority enrollment in STEM courses nationally, and will discuss with students the discipline of Astronomy and the ways it both provides opportunity and limits those opportunities variously in ways that are correlated with other factors such as race, gender and economic status. In the longer term, Dr. Terndrup will examine how these discussions of racial or gender justice can affect student attitudes and retention, or whether there are differences in student response for first-year students vs. more advanced majors.

Melissa Beers - Psychology, Columbus

Dr. Beers will compile and develop a module for Intro Psych on racial justice, stereotyping and prejudice aligned with course learning objectives. The module will incorporate current and cutting-edge research at Ohio State while highlighting faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student work in this area. She will also form a small working group to develop a module or series of Canvas modules on these topics that could be inserted into all sections of the course (approximately 25) in future semesters.

Jasmine Roberts - Communications, Columbus

Roberts will include inclusive writing outcomes in her course and employ the conscious writing framework with her students to teach inclusive writing practices. Students will be required to write a feature article on a marginalized group, particularly one of which they are not a member. She will also incorporate her own original work on digital activism and the Black Lives Matter movement and its implications.

During the autumn semester, the ALX team will gather feedback from faculty, students and administrators to assess outcomes, with the intention of expanding the offering in the future. A list of resources, assignments and teaching topics explored by grant winners will also be made available to the university community.