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Celebrating Difference: Best Practices in Culturally Responsive Teaching Online

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Culturally responsive teaching and design practices flip the online classroom by creating an environment that acknowledges, celebrates, and builds upon the cultural capital that learners and teachers bring to the online classroom. Challenges exist in all phases of online course design, including the ability to create online courses that reflect the instructor’s commitment to inclusive excellence, diversity, and social justice. Designing an online environment that supports all learners regardless of their backgrounds is important in their future success as professionals; thus, it is important for faculty to design courses with all students in mind. The purpose of this article is to share best practices in the design of culturally and linguistically responsive online courses that support the culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students we serve. Based on Gay’s (2010) culturally responsive teaching practices, this article provides examples of online activities that are validating; comprehensive; multi-dimensional; empowering; transformative, and emancipatory.

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As social justice educators, we are concerned with the continued reinforcement of elitist notions of privilege in higher education including in the value placed on authorship order as it regards journal articles. Thus, we want to acknowledge that the authorship of this manuscript is credited equally to all four authors. Each contributed toward its visioning, construction, writing, and editing. Regardless of where names fall on the authorship list, we are all “first” author.

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Correspondence to Xeturah Woodley.

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Dr. X. Woodley declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dr. C. Hernandez declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dr. J. Parra is an advisory council member for the National Geographic Network of Alliances and is a member of the board of directors for Online Learning Consortium. Mr. B. Negash declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Woodley, X., Hernandez, C., Parra, J. et al. Celebrating Difference: Best Practices in Culturally Responsive Teaching Online. TechTrends 61, 470–478 (2017).

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