Smeal Academy Newsletter: Inclusive Classrooms Edition

Smeal Academy Newsletter: Inclusive Classrooms Edition

The Smeal Academy is brought to you by the eLearning Design and Innovation Group at the Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University. The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip the Smeal community with best practices and strategies for teaching and learning with technology to support Smeal’s business education and research needs.

Photo by Pavlos Vaenas on Unsplash

STAC and Inclusive Classrooms

Welcome to the first week of the regular summer session! Over the next three months, the goal of the Smeal Academy will be to continue to share new ideas for teaching and learning. Whether you are teaching this summer or thinking of modifications you want to make for fall, you should find many ideas for using technology to make meaningful change in teaching and learning.

This week we are revisiting the important topic of inclusive classrooms. In this week’s podcast, Olivia and Emily talk about how to help students feel seen in your classroom. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Who’s In Class? Olivia talks in the podcast about the importance of recognizing the many identities and roles that students bring into the classroom. It is helpful to start the semester with an anonymous survey to learn more about who is in your class. Use this example as a guide for questions you might choose to include. Then create a survey in Canvas, Forms, or Qualtrics to anonymously survey students.
  • Add Your Pronouns: Olivia also shared about how listing your pronouns is an important signal to your students that you are aware of their importance. Penn State has easy instructions for adding your pronouns to your Canvas course. For anyone not using Canvas, your email signature and/or LinkedIn profile are other good places to share that information.
  • Review Accessibility: The summer can also be a good time to review your course materials and ensure they are accessible for all, whether students have disability accommodations or one of the many hidden disabilities Olivia mentioned in the podcast. Check out this brief overview of easy ways you can update your course over the summer to improve accessibility.

Want to learn more about Olivia and Smeal’s diversity enhancement efforts? Check out this week’s new podcast, Olivia Lewis, Director of Diversity Enhancement Programs by clicking below! Smeal Academy Podcasts are released weekly and housed on our eLDIG website or follow the Smeal Academy Podcast on your preferred podcatcher!

Upcoming Smeal Academy Sessions

  • Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence in Business Education and Research Reading and Discussion Group – John Liechty, Facilitator
    Join us for the fourth session of a Smeal series on the role of artificial intelligence in our teaching and research, which will focus on our shared commitment to preparing leaders to leverage artificial intelligence responsibly in business. John will share some trends in fields related to marketing and how they impact his approach to teaching at Smeal. Join us on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. Contact eLDIG if you would like a meeting invitation with a Zoom link.
  • * NEW​ * Anthology Ally: What’s Your Score?
    The University has enabled a Canvas feature called Ally which helps support our goals of equity and inclusion, improving course accessibility and usability. Learn more about the accessibility of the resources in your Canvas spaces, and how you can improve your Ally “score.” Join us on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. EST via Zoom. Contact eLDIG if you would like a meeting invitation with a Zoom link.
  • Smeal Academy Summer Book Club – Session 1
    This summer, we will read The Spark of Learning by Sarah Rose Cavanagh. We will meet three times over the summer to discuss the book. Join us for our first discussion on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. Contact eLDIG if you would like a meeting invitation with a Zoom link

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous Smeal Academy sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.


  • Tip #1: Sign up for STAC (Smeal Together Achieving Change)!
    In this week’s podcast, we learned all about the STAC program at Smeal. Registration will soon be open for the summer cohort, which will be held entirely over Zoom. It is open to Smeal faculty and staff. Watch for the email and sign up!
  • Tip #2: Kaltura Media Player Updating May 15th
    On May 15th, the V7 Player will automatically replace the player shown in several areas:

    • MediaSpace: Users will encounter the V7 player when viewing MediaSpace pages.
    • Canvas: My Media entry page, Media Gallery, Media Gallery Playlists, and New LTI embeds will use the V7 player.

    On May 16th, all LTI Embeds added prior to May 16th will be automatically migrated to the V7 Player. Media accessed through assistive technology like screen readers can navigate the player controls using this Knowledge Base Article.

    Important Note: The V7 player will not be available through the “Share” function on May 15th due to some issues found in testing. The Kaltura team will provide more information on when this function will be available. Content using the Kaltura Embed/share function will need to be migrated manually to utilize the new player. Information on that process is being developed and will be released over the coming months. Please review this Knowledge Base article comparing the new and old players for more information.

Contact Us

Email us at or fill out the eLDIG Contact form and we will be in touch.