What is DiversityEdu?

What is DiversityEDU?

Virginia Tech has joined other top schools in the country in offering DiversityEdu. DiversityEdu is a research-based online course for students. The course teaches skills for engaging successfully with diversity and mitigating the influence of unconscious biases and stereotypical thinking on personal choices and professional decisions. DiversityEdu will help you learn how you can get the most out of your campus experience at Virginia Tech and in any diverse community where you choose to live, learn and work.

Question: How did Virginia Tech select DiversityEdu?
Answer: Virginia Tech’s peer institutions have found DiversityEdu to be a powerful tool for promoting diversity and an inclusive culture in the campus community.

The overwhelming majority (between 85 and 95 percent) of thousands of students and faculty report that taking DiversityEdu has taught them useful skills for managing their assumptions, recognizing stereotypes and myths, and proactively assessing the impact of their communications, choices, and decisions.

The university’s diversity leadership worked closely with the developers of DiversityEdu to produce a course that meets the university's standards and priorities.

Question: What does DiversityEdu cover?
Answer: DiversityEdu is composed of open-ended questions, knowledge tests, and diversity-related information. Topics include:

  • Overview of InclusiveVT
  • Defining diversity inclusively
  • Engaging comfortably with difference
  • Managing assumptions
  • Searching for similarities
  • Understanding the effects of stereotypical thinking
  • Focusing on the impact of language and behavior choices
  • Addressing microaggressions.

DiversityEdu’s interactive, skills-learning approach springs from an inclusive definition of diversity and a firm basis in social science research. DiversityEdu courses don’t tell learners what they have to do or should believe. They introduce and reinforce research-based skills that all members of the community can choose to put into practice as part of their everyday actions, communications and choices.

Question: Why is Virginia Tech introducing DiversityEdu?
Answer: DiversityEdu courses support InclusiveVT, the university’s commitment to a community of shared principles and values by providing a common knowledge and skill base as well as touch points for further discourse about diversity and inclusion. In addition, DiversityEdu establishes a framework for living out the university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence.

Question: Who should to take DiversityEdu?
Answer: Every incoming first-year student and graduate student is asked to take DiversityEdu and complete the survey. Success of the program is based upon building an inclusive community in support of Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community. Participation in DiversityEdu will encourage thoughtful conversations and promote an inclusive campus culture. Deadlines are below.

  • First-year undergraduate students should complete DiversityEdu by August 18, 2016
  • International students should complete DiversityEdu by September 5, 2016
  • Graduate students will be informed of their deadline by Dean Karen DePauw.

Question: What do I have to do to complete DiversityEdu?
Answer: You will receive an email with instructions and deadlines for completing DiversityEdu, The online program takes approximately 40 minutes to complete and can be taken in segments. Students will have access to the program 24 hours a day allowing you to complete the program at your own pace before scheduled deadlines.

Question: What happens if I don’t do it?
Answer: Students may receive a hold on their course registration if they do not complete the program. This means that you may not be able to register for Spring 2017 courses until you complete DiversityEdu.

What kind of tasks do I have to do to get credit for taking the course?
Answer: Interactive exercises: DiversityEdu requires the course-taker to complete short multiple-choice self-assessments and other interactive exercises. These exercises have been designed to enhance the learner’s engagement with the material and enjoyment of the course. Student course-takers are also presented with three questions calling for a type‐in response. Responses are not stored, in order to alleviate discomfort about typing in text about personal experiences. Students are encouraged to print their responses for future discussions that may occur in residence halls and classes.

  • Survey: All DiversityEdu course-takers must complete pre- and post-course surveys. Survey responses are anonymous and will be used to make course improvements.
  • Course credit: Upon completion of the survey, your completion of the course will be electronically recorded.
  • Certificate of completion and printable materials: All course-takers have the option of printing out a certificate of completion and other materials.

Question: Who will see my answers? How is the data kept? Will my parents be told what I report?
Answer: All survey responses are strictly confidential; Virginia Tech will only receive information about the student body as a whole and will NEVER see any individual student's answers.

The DiversityEdu administrator at Virginia Tech will receive notification of your completion, but this is the only information ever matched with your identity. Your parents will not have access to any information unless you choose to share it with them or to sign an information release that allows us to share it with them.

During the surveys, you will be asked if you would like more information about inclusion and diversity resources at Virginia Tech. If you click "yes," you will receive more information via email.

Question: Do I need a textbook or materials for this program?
Answer: A textbook and materials are not needed. Everything that you need is provided to you online through the program.

Question: Will I receive college course credit for taking DiversityEdu?
Answer: You will not receive college course credit for DiversityEdu. This program is designed to increase your knowledge, abilities, and skills pertaining to diversity and inclusion. It is an expectation of Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community and of any new student entering the University. The program is designed to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone to live, work, and study.

Question: How will students find out about DiversityEdu?
Answer: Students are informed of the program participation requirements through their VT e-mail account on July 28. They are also informed of this program by information in orientation materials and vigorous promoting during orientation events during the first three weeks of July. E-mails with directions on how to login to the program will be sent out on July 28. Continuous reminders will be sent out until the due date.

Question: How will I access DiversityEdu?
Answer: DiversityEdu will be available through Virginia Tech’s Canvas course management system. Please be aware that you will need to use the Google Chrome (recommended) or Safari browser to take DiversityEdu. When you click on the link on the Online Prevention Portal, you will be taken to Canvas where you must log in with your Virginia Tech PID and password. Once in Canvas, please click on the Courses tab on the left side of the page and look for your DiversityEdu course. When you enter the course, you will see further instructions on taking DiversityEdu.

Question: I don't have computer access at home. Do I still need to complete DiversityEdu?
Answer: Yes. To take the program, you will need a computer with Internet access, audio capabilities, and the Google Chrome or Safari browser. If you do not have access to a computer, you can use any publicly available computer with Internet access and audio capabilities, and Google Chrome or Safari. Public computers are often available in your local public library, copy center, or community center.

Question: How do I login?
Answer: You will login by visiting https://canvas.vt.edu/. This is Virginia Tech’s online learning site, and contains information about all courses in which you are registered, including DiversityEdu. You will need your Virginia Tech PID and password to enter the site. This is the same username and password you would use to access your Virginia Tech email. If you are having trouble accessing Canvas visit the Virginia Tech Canvas Help and Support page.

You will not need to create a separate account. You can use your Canvas login and click on the course link to get started.

You may log in and out of the site after completing each section. You will be asked if you would like to resume where you left off when you log in again.

Question: What email should I use?
Answer:Be sure to use your Virginia Tech PID (email address) each time you access DiversityEdu, rather than using a Yahoo/ Hotmail/ Gmail or other account. You will not be able to log in to Canvas without a Virginia Tech PID.

Question: I believe I need accommodations to fulfill the requirements of this program. Who do I need to contact?
Answer: Answer: DiversityEdu courses will comply to the highest accessibility standards for educational software, known as W3C. DiversityEdu has always complied fully with section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The DiversityEdu course contains closed captioning. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact DiversityEdu@vt.edu.

Other Important Information:

  • To avoid technical issues, please use Google Chrome.
  • You may take the course(s) in multiple sittings.
  • The course includes surveys to help personalize your experience and measure students’ attitudes and behaviors. All survey responses are confidential; the school will only receive information about the student body as a whole and will never see individual students’ answers.
  • Should you experience problems with the course itself or any of its functionalities, help options will be available to you in Canvas. You should receive a response within 24 hours.

Course Problems/Technical Difficulties

For questions about Course Problems or Technical Difficulties, please refer to the link on the right labeled Technical Troubleshooting.

Question: How do I contact someone if I have questions?
Answer: You may contact the DiversityEdu administrator at DiversityEdu@vt.edu if you have additional questions.

Question: What additional resources are available to learn more about diversity and inclusion?
Answer: Virginia Tech has a wide variety of programs that promote and advance diversity. Please visit inclusive.vt.edu for a list of resources both on and off campus.

Note: These online programs are meant for students to complete on their own and not with a parent or guardian. We encourage your conversation with your student regarding the program content but please allow your student to complete the program on their own.