Peralta Equity Rubric

Concurrent Session 7

Brief Abstract

While most institutions value diversity, they often struggle to institutionalize practices that support inclusion and equity in online environments. When we, the Peralta Community College District’s Distance Education team, could not find a rubric to support online course equity, we created the Peralta Equity Rubric. This rubric is designed to foster an expanded understanding and appreciation for student populations, particularly for disproportionately impacted students, and their experiences in online courses.

The rubric was developed through exhaustive research about the aspects of online courses that most negatively affect online student persistence and/or success. The rubric’s criteria include: addressing students’ access to technology and different types of support (both academic and non-academic); increasing the visibility of the instructor’s commitment to inclusion; addressing common forms of bias (e.g., image and representation bias, interaction bias); helping students make connections (e.g., between course topics and their lives; with the other students); and following universal design for learning principles. As the rubric was developed the team modified it to support technology support staff and student services staff as well.

See the current version of the full Peralta Equity Rubric at


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