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Variety in the online classroom focuses on all variations of race, class, and sex, as well as the challenges and concerns associated with embracing the diversity. As a student teacher, I find the diversity in the online class challenging because it includes a diverse collection of individuals who were reared according to various cultures and traditions. Additionally, I struggle to cope with and meet the demands of the diverse group of students.
Diversity in the online classroom has both advantages and disadvantages for the teachers and the students. Its advantages include the potential for social integration. When diverse instructors and students come together, they can borrow from each other's culture hence enhancing their knowledge and career development. Secondly, both the students and the instructor can learn different languages and way of life, hence can be able to interact with people from those other groups. Another one is the fact that unity is fostered among the diverse students and instructors since they become closer as they study and interact online.
The online classroom is associated with some of the challenges like differences in traditions. It takes a lot of time for the students together with their instructor to be able to adopt the traditions of others hence the process of learning is slow. Another challenge is that there is difficulty in trusting each other, or rather it takes time to trust students from diverse cultures, hence opening up is not easy making it difficult for the students to know each other well (Baker & Schmidt, 2014). Finally, there is the challenge of trying to study together where there is the problem of discrimination, especially the problem of racial discrimination since students will bring the hatred to class.
One of the ways of dealing with the challenges is by handling the problem of discrimination and reminding the students and instructors that are people are the same and no race, gender or sex is superior to another one. Another way of dealing with the mentioned challenges is by concentrating on the purpose of the class, rather than trying to learn the traditions of others to avoid delay in the learning process.
Baker, D., & Schmidt, A. (2014, October). Adapting Teaching/Learning Strategies for the Multigenerational Online Classroom. In E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 130-138). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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