This summer BCcampus contracted consultant Chanelle Tye to conduct an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) audit of two of our Learning and Teaching Programs: Facilitating Learning Online (FLO) series and the BCcampus Research Fellows program. Chanelle Tye provided us with a summary report, walked us through the findings, and suggested action steps. We used this approach to help us learn more about how we are doing with respect to EDI and to build our team capacity for continuing EDI work.
By Leva Lee, manager, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus
There were no big surprises in our EDI audit findings, but we did learn many interesting and useful ideas about how to better approach our work with an EDI lens. Here are three examples and tangible ways we could do better:
- Be more consistent in the use of plain, inclusive language. Avoid idioms and cultural references that lack context and meaning to learners from other cultures (e.g., “an aha moment” or “nuggets”). Here is a helpful Plain Language Writing Checklist [PDF] taken from www.plainlanguage.gov as well as this one from the B.C. government website: Words Matter: Guidelines on Using Inclusive Language in the Workplace [PDF].
- Be more intentional in our choice of resources and the scholars we cite in work to reflect diversity (e.g., look beyond Eurocentric perspectives and scholarly work).
- Consider and explore non-traditional spaces or communication channels to promote programs and messages to equity-seeking groups (e.g., BIPOC groups on Facebook).
In all, having an EDI audit provided an excellent opportunity for the Learning + Teaching team to become aware of where things are problematic and ideas for concrete and actionable steps to improve. After discussing the results, we are more aware of how we present content; how we choose language, technology, imagery, and references; and how and who we engage as our audiences, learners, and stakeholders. The EDI audit was very helpful, but these learnings are only a starting point—the first step in our continuing journey to create more EDI in what we do to support teaching and learning in the B.C. post-secondary sector.
If you have questions, reach out to Leva Lee via email: leva [dot] lee [at] bccampus [dot] ca