Activity: Adapting Resources for Inclusion

You can view this activity as a downloadable Google Doc. You can also view the full OER Starter Kit Workbook, which includes multiple additional activities. [1]

In the chapter Diversity and Inclusion, we discuss the importance of making materials inclusive for students, not just through the material’s technical accessibility but also through its content. In this worksheet, we will walk through a few ways you can make the OER in your course more inclusive for your students.

Reflect on your course materials

Answer the following questions about the materials you use in your course.

  1. Do the materials you currently use provide examples that are inclusive of race, sex, age, and ability? For example, in practical use cases provided for tools or procedures, are there alternate examples of how procedures might work for learners who require mobility aids?


  2. Is there room for additional examples or edits that might make your course materials more inclusive for your learners?


  3. What can you change about your current course materials (legally and technically)?


  4. What types of course materials (handouts, practice quizzes, labs) could you develop to integrate more inclusivity in your classroom?

Practice adapting for inclusion

Using the steps below as a guide, select a resource to adapt for inclusion. This may be a resource you currently use in the classroom, an example you present to students in class, or a resource you’ve created through one of these worksheets (such as the output from your Adapt a Resource worksheet or a resource you discovered with the OER Treasure Hunt worksheet).

The questions below are meant to guide your process, but you may deviate from them if you have a specific edit in mind that is not included below.

  1. Look at the names, places, and situations provided in examples or word problems. Are these examples inclusive and representative of your students? What could you change to make these examples more inclusive?


  2. Do the scenarios and instructions provided in your course assignments or labs address how a specific scenario might differ for an individual with a wheelchair, cane, or other assistive device?


  3. Examine the photographs and images in your resource.
      • Do people pictured come from diverse races or socioeconomic backgrounds?
      • Are images accessible, clear, and do they include appropriate alt text and captions?
      • Are the colors used distinct and do they provide sufficient contrast for colorblind learners? Use a Color Contrast Checker as appropriate.


  4. Is the text in your material clear, concise, and free of idioms that might exclude students who are learning English? Check for  phrases that are specific to the English language (i.e. “beating around the bush,” “going postal”) or which might be considered ableist (i.e. “as you can see,” “as we all know”).


  5. Do you provide alternate examples and exercises for learners to study? For example, videos might be extremely helpful for some learners while others might benefit more from a set of lecture notes or access to presentation slides. Having multiple options available is an easy way to make your course feel more inclusive to all learners. 

Share your work

Consider sharing the resources you adapted for inclusion online! Be sure to check your resource for accessibility and provide an appropriate open license before posting it. For a refresher on licensing your adaptation, look back on our Adaptation and Attribution worksheet.

If you share your project on Twitter, use the hashtag #OERAuthor so we can see your work!

  1. Attribution: “Adapting Resources for Inclusion” by Stacy Katz and Abbey Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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OER and Alternative Textbook Handbook Copyright © 2020 by Ariana Santiago is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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