Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Decolonization
We recognize that land acknowledgement does not equate to actions that we must take as an institution toward decolonization, anti-racism and respect. We have a long way to go in recognizing and addressing systemic issues of equity and the visible and invisible barriers within our educational institution. UAF eCampus is in a position of privilege to take deliberate action to address these issues.
As a unit of a Land, Sea and Space Grant institution, we acknowledge the university system’s role in forming and maintaining colonial structures of power through land seizure and assimilation via education, among other tactics. Recognizing this context, we at eCampus seek approaches to teaching and learning that are decolonial, anti-racist, trauma-informed and continuously reexamined.
Key questions that drive our work
How are we collaborating with, honoring and valuing connection to the land and people who have been systematically less advantaged within our system?
How can we better engage with and serve all communities and individuals of Alaska and beyond?
What can we as individuals and as a department do to help undo a legacy of colonization and oppression?
Disrupting the Digital Divide
Student Support Focus
We regularly work with students in an advising, course design, and testing capacity. In this work, we value an inclusive, welcoming student experience. We strive to accommodate each student in a way that decreases barriers to achieving success within university guidelines and actively seek opportunities to better respond to student needs. We collaborate with other support units, including Student Support Services, TRiO, and the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, to foster inclusivity across campus.
Fostering Inclusive Pedagogy
We collaborate with leaders in trauma-informed pedagogy in an effort to create a radically inclusive education environment both online and on campus. We provide tools for faculty-led course assessment for diversity, equity, and inclusivity considerations. Through partnering with the Faculty Accelerator, we have created more equitable opportunities that have a broader reach across UAF. Increasing the visibility of faculty commitment to inclusivity is one of our ongoing goals.
Inclusive Hiring Practice
We have implemented hiring policies to strengthen our diversity on the eCampus team. We will revisit these policies and revise them as we continue to learn. Guidelines for Improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in eCampus Hiring
Lowering Economic Barriers
We advocate for open access to education and encourage the use of open education resources to help provide affordable course materials. We provide resources and support on creating openly available online course spaces and assist instructors in adopting no- and low-cost class materials. We also contribute to open education through AlaskaX, which provides openly available free courses to the world with low-cost certification through the edX platform.
We regularly offer faculty development opportunities on designing course structures and materials that are equitable for students with disabilities. We work closely with the Office of Disability Services to respond to specific requests for digital accommodations, but also advocate for proactive changes that increase accessibility for all. The instructional design team is trained in universal design for learning and encourages faculty to build their courses according to those best practices. eCampus researches and assists in funding tools and services that promote accessibility, including professional captioning.