Inclusion & Accessibility: Classroom Community Guidelines


Community guidelines are agreements that set the tone for expectations. The agreements support community by promoting a sense of belonging, encourage participation, and support participants’ success. Agreements can apply to different teaching modalities of online, blended, or in-person



NYU Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation Community Guidelines

NYU Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation Tools and Toolkit



  • Include guidelines as a list and/or statement in your syllabus.

  • Consider covering your guidelines during the first day of class or first live session. 
  • You can ask participants if you think any additional agreements need to be added.
    • Let participants know responses can be received at that moment for later via email. 
  • Reference the guidelines if you witness participants breaking them.


Recommended Guidelines for Participants

Let’s start with universal agreements that apply to online, blended, and in-person teaching modalities.

  • Remember that you belong in the class and greater organization. 
  • Speak and write from an “I” perspective because we cannot speak for or assume others’ lived experiences.
  • Actively listen when someone is speaking. This will help understand their viewpoint.
  • Wait and allow other participants to also think and speak; acknowledge the space.
  • Avoid critiquing individuals and provide feedback on ideas.
  • Use peers’ pronouns and names with correct spelling and pronunciation.
  • Misspeaking or struggling with a concept happens (we’re all human). Take a moment to listen, learn, and grow from the experience.
  • If you find a comment offensive, feel free to speak with or email the instructor (also consider using the “oops/ouch” rule).
  • If you accidentally make a comment with an offensive impact, acknowledge it.

Additional guidelines for online modalities:

  • For written communication, always remember tone and never write in all caps. 
  • Avoid using the Zoom chat in a way that will distract instructors and peers. This means not using chat for off-topic and side conversations. The chat is best used for asking questions and sharing resources.
  • Conduct yourself in the same manner as in-person.

Please note that these are only recommendations. You’re welcome to research, explore, and add any guidelines (agreements) that will best support your teaching.

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