What is DiversityEdu?

What is DiversityEdu?

Virginia Tech has joined other top schools in the country in offering DiversityEdu. This program is a research-based online program for students which teaches skills for engaging successfully with diversity and mitigating the influence of unconscious biases and stereotypical thinking on personal choices and professional decisions. DiversityEdu helps you learn how to 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 on our campuses.

Thousands of students and their professors have taken DiversityEdu. The overwhelming majority--between 85 and 95 percent--report that taking DiversityEdu taught them useful skills for managing 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 program 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 doesn’t tell you what to do or believe. Instead, DiversityEdu introduces and reinforces 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 using DiversityEdu?
Answer: DiversityEdu supports the Virginia Tech Principles of Community by providing a common knowledge and skill base, as well as touch points for further discussion about diversity and inclusion. 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 and transfer student, as well as all graduate and professional students, is required to complete DiversityEdu and the survey at the end of the program. 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.

What do I have to do?

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. You 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: You may have a hold on your program registration if you do not complete the program. This hinders your ability to register for Spring programs until DiversityEdu is completed.

Question: What kind of tasks do I have to do to get credit for taking the program?
Answer: DiversityEdu requires you to complete short multiple-choice self-assessments and other interactive exercises. These exercises are designed to enhance your engagement with the material and your enjoyment of the program. You are also presented with questions calling for typed-in responses. Responses are not stored in order to alleviate discomfort about typing in your personal experiences. You are encouraged to print your responses for future discussions that may occur in residence halls and classes.

  • Survey: All DiversityEdu program-takers must complete pre- and post-program surveys. Survey responses are anonymous and are used to make program improvements.
  • Program credit: When the survey is submitted your completion of the program is electronically recorded.
  • Certificate of completion and printable materials: You 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 only receives information about the student body as a whole and NEVER sees anyone’s individual answers.

The DiversityEdu administrator at Virginia Tech receives notifications 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 sign an information release that allows us to share it with them.

During the surveys, you are asked if you want 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: Everything that you need is provided online through the program. No textbooks or additional materials are needed.

Question: Will I receive college program credit for taking DiversityEdu?
Answer: You do not receive college program 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: You are informed of program participation requirements through your VT e-mail account on August 10. You will also receive information about DiversityEdu in your orientation materials and during orientation events in July. E-mails with directions on how to login to the program are sent on August 10. Continuous reminders are sent out until the due date.

How do I access DiversityEdu?

Question: How will I access DiversityEdu?
Answer: DiversityEdu is available through Virginia Tech’s Canvas program management system. Please be aware that you 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 are taken to Canvas. There, you log in with your Virginia Tech PID and password. Once in Canvas, click on the programs tab on the left side of the page and look for your DiversityEdu program. When you enter the program, 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 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. Virginia Tech provides computer labs and Wi-Fi Internet access across campus for anyone with a VT PID.

Question: How do I login?
Answer: You login by visiting Canvas. This is Virginia Tech’s online learning site, and contains information about all programs in which you are registered, including DiversityEdu. You need your Virginia Tech PID and password to enter the site. Your Virginia Tech PID is the same username and password used to access your Virginia Tech email. If you have trouble accessing Canvas, visit the Virginia Tech Canvas Help and Support page.

You do not need to create a separate account. You can use your Canvas login and click on the program 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 are not 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: DiversityEdu programs 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 program 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 program in multiple sittings.
  • The program includes surveys to help personalize your experience and measure your attitudes and behaviors. All survey responses are confidential; the school only receives information about the student body as a whole and will never see individual students’ answers.
  • Should you experience problems with the program itself or any of its functionalities, help options are available to you in Canvas. You should receive a response within 24 hours.

What if I have a technical problem with the program?

Question: What if I have a technical problem with the program?
Answer: For questions about program 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?

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 the InclusiveVT website 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.