Digital Learning Blog

Cultivating an Inclusive Learning Environment

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Digital Learning Blog, Faculty Spotlight

Brandon GolobIt’s my honor to spotlight Professor Brandon Golob, an assistant professor of teaching of Criminology, Law and Society in the School of Social Ecology. I would like to highlight his relentless work to cultivate his course to be an inclusive learning environment both in person and remotely. It was spring 2020 when I first met Brandon through our Digital Learning Institute (DLI). He was teaching Spring 2020, the first remote teaching quarter due to the pandemic and I remember my first impression of him was very lively and positive. He was very excited to learn how to design his remote course where his teaching philosophy of cultivating an inclusive learning environment, is continued and practiced. 

What can I do to make my remote course a more engaging and more student-centered learning environment?” – First question from Brandon when I first met him through DLI, Spring 2020

Brandon’s teaching is tailored to provide a collaborative meaning-making learning environment where students’ voices are actively heard and valued, and to meet students where they are (especially in pandemic times), and continuously engage and support them to thrive. For Brandon, this pandemic led him to teach remotely, but rather than seeing it as an obstacle, he viewed it as an opportunity to be more creative, more supportive and more inclusive to help students to succeed. 

His course design is very intentional, straightforward and consistent; sharing clear expectations and purpose of activities, and reducing any barriers for students to access the materials and participate (especially indicating “in-class” vs. “out of class”). He is constantly checking in with his students through the use of a weekly warm-up survey to start the week and a wrap-up survey to end the week. This channels students to prepare, reflect, recall and review their learning progress and understanding.  He also provided a remote/cloud environment for students to continue discussing with peers and sharing their voices using a platform which most students are familiar with. (Figure 1)

Professor Golob working with students in class and a sample google doc assignment

Figure 1. Professor Golob’s CRM/LAW 186 in-person class (left) and remote class (right) where students actively collaborate and discuss the topic assigned as instructor and TAs facilitate the discussion.

He has done tremendous work to create his course to be student-centered where students will feel they belong no matter if his course is offered in-person or remote. 

To end this spotlight blog, I would like to highlight four awards that he received in the 2021-22 academic year, Learning Experience Design and Online Teaching Award, UCI Inclusive Excellence Teaching Award, Tom Angell Fellowship and Excellence in Digital Learning Award. 

To learn more about Professor Golob and his teaching philosophy, please view the faculty spotlight interview below. 

 

 


About the Author

Bo ChoiBo Choi, M.A.Ed
Instructional Designer, Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI)

Bo is an instructional designer at at Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has been serving in higher education as an instructional designer over a decade, with training and many years of experience in creating effective teaching and learning experiences and materials for technology-infused, hybrid and online learning. Bo uses campus learning technologies to great effect, with attention to universal design principles that provide meaningful and inclusive learning opportunities for students with different strengths and abilities. She joined the DTEI team in August 2019 after serving as an instructional designer at Cal Poly Pomona for 12 years. She has a BS in Engineering Technology and a MA.Ed in Multimedia Education.