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Assessing Wesleyan-IF Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID)

photo credit:  (c) Mary Ann Bates, all rights reserved, [email protected]

The Diversity and Inclusion Discussions (DID), a joint project between Wesleyan College and the Interactivity Foundation, provided an opportunity for students to use the IF process to discuss issues they see as relevant to diversity and inclusion. At the conclusion of the program, a diverse group of 22 participating students provided feedback on their experience in the DID program.

Over half of the sample participated in at least two of the three sessions; they  noted a variety of reasons for wanting to take part, including the need to increase and improve communication on campus, along with concerns about personal experiences related to diversity and inclusion. Based on their responses, we know that DID participants gave this program strong ratings across the board (4.18-4.91 on a 5-point scale) in areas assessing self perceived benefits related to teamwork, oral communication, civic engagement, creative thinking, global learning, and intercultural knowledge.

Specifically, 95% of DID participants strongly agreed that their participation improved their ability to talk with others and obtain important information. Likewise, 91% strongly agreed believed that their participation empowered them to use their voice for public action and 82% strongly agreed that it provided insight on issues with which they did not have direct experience.  In fact, all students who participated in this program agreed that other institutions would benefit from a similar program, and that they would be likely to recommend participation to other students on Wesleyan’s campus. These findings are encouraging support for DID as a program that colleges and similar institutions can use to engage students in meaningful dialogue on diversity and inclusion.  For more information, you can read the 2017 report of Student Participant Feedback.