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An Ecosystem of Equity in the Era of COVID-19:Considerations for Creating Inclusive Teaching and Learning Environments
  • +2
  • Starlette Sharp,
  • Jonathan McCausland,
  • Leandra Cate,
  • Charlita Woodruff-White,
  • Gregory Kelly
Starlette Sharp
Pennsylvania State University
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Jonathan McCausland
Pennsylvania State University
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Leandra Cate
Pennsylvania State University
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Charlita Woodruff-White
Morgan State University
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Gregory Kelly
Pennsylvania State University
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Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

17 Jun 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
17 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
17 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
27 Jun 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned

Abstract

Distance learning has been a means to provide an education to those who are unable to participate in on-campus, face-to face classes. Teams of instructional design specialists that focus on online education put significant effort into course development. This planned process is very different from emergency remote education in response to a crisis. In early 2020, it was discovered that an extremely contagious respiratory illness termed COVID-19 had spread to every corner of the earth. As of mid-March 2020, the need to transition from face-to-face classroom instruction to exclusively online education landed on the doorstep of America’s universities. COVID-19 has catalyzed a transition in the ecology of American education for all students, but especially the underserved and minoritized. Ecology, by definition, is concerned with the interactions of an organism and its environment. The circumstances of the pandemic have caused vast and rapid change in both the internal and external environments of the organisms (e.g., students) and the systems in which they reside (e.g., U. S. educational systems). The purpose of this paper is to provide some considerations for instructors who find themselves “thrown into teaching remotely,” and help them think about how best to create sustainable systems, broaden participation and build capacity in a more equitable and inclusive manner.