Inclusion & Accessibility: Classroom Community Guidelines


Community guidelines are agreements that set the tone for expectations. The agreements support the community by promoting a sense of belonging, encouraging 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.

  • You can also wait and ask participants.
    • Ask students to fill out a Google Form.
    • Select trends through responses
    • Cover the guidelines in class by sharing the trends, asking for more thoughts, and what you think is needed. 
    • Post guidelines under Brightspace Content and as an Announcement.
  • 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.

  • Everyone belongs in the class and NYU community.
  • 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 the 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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