Increasing Equity for Online Learners at Both Course and Institutional Levels

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

For institutions that want to create an equity initiative to support online learners, there are not many resources to support their efforts. That's what led our group to create first the Peralta Equity Rubric and more recently the Peralta Equity Initiative. Join us to learn about a) Peralta's two new equity rubrics to support online learners in both course and institutional environments, b) training modules to prepare faculty and staff to implement equity strategies, and c) a set of resources for you to start an equity initiative at your own institution!


Kevin Kelly, EdD, teaches online courses as a Lecturer in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University, where he also previously served as the Online Teaching and Learning Manager. He works with colleges and universities as a consultant to address distance education, educational technology, and organizational challenges. Kevin co-authored with Todd Zakrajsek the 2021 Stylus book, Advancing Online Teaching: Creating Equity-Based Digital Learning Environments.

Extended Abstract

 For institutions that want to create an equity initiative to support online learners, there are not many resources to support their efforts. Further, while there are various research studies that outline how individual equity issues contribute to achievement gaps in student persistence or success rates, we could find no models to address equity for online learners. That's what led our group to create the Peralta Equity Rubric.

When we presented version 1 of the Peralta Equity Rubric at OLC Accelerate 2018, we envisioned that our rubric would support both a) faculty and instructional designers at the course level and b) staff in technology support and student services roles who serve online learners at the institutional level. Since then, we have revised the rubric and expanded the work to become the Peralta Equity Initiative.

To start, the ratings descriptions for the Peralta Equity Rubric 2.0 criteria are tighter, reorganized, and now include social belonging. [Note: we will briefly outline Peralta's efforts to validate the rubric instruments through research.] Next, we split the rubric to support stakeholders working with online learners at the course and institutional levels. Then, for both of the new rubrics we created training modules for their respective intended audiences. Through these modules, anyone who supports online learners will a) describe the relevant factor(s) behind each equity issue (rubric criterion), b) identify strategies to address each equity issue, c) review examples of these equity strategies in action, and d) gain access to resources to put each equity strategy into practice. Last, we have assembled documentation to support your institution in starting its own equity initiative!

In this session you will discuss the equity rubric criteria, strategies to address equity and achievement gaps, and your institution's current and planned efforts related to increase equity for online learners.