Exploring the Impact of an Online Diversity Course for the Professional Development of Faculty and Staff

Exploring the Impact of an Online Diversity Course for the Professional Development of Faculty and Staff

Marlo Goldstein Hode (University of Missouri, USA) and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz (University of Missouri, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0209-8.ch001
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Abstract

In the context of shifting demographics and broad social change efforts, it is critical that faculty and staff at all institutional levels have the awareness, knowledge, and skills to work effectively with diverse coworkers, students, and other constituents. However, access to such educational opportunities may be hindered by the fact that faculty and staff tend to have limited availability for professional development during the regular work day and may not have the resources or incentive to pursue diversity training outside of their busy work schedules. Therefore, some universities are looking towards online platforms as a way to increase accessibility for a wider audience. In order to better understand the potential effectiveness and limitations of an online platform for diversity education, this chapter explores the impact of an online diversity course developed as a professional development program for faculty and staff at the University of the Midwest (UM).
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Background

The purpose of this section is to provide the theoretical background that informed the rationale and development of the online diversity course discussed in this chapter. We first describe transformative learning as the overarching theoretical framework that informed the course design of the online course discussed in this chapter. We then discuss online diversity education as a platform to facilitate transformative learning related to diversity.

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