Diversify terminology

Resources to help diversify terminology used in your course

  • Ensure that all references to people, groups, populations, categories, conditions and disabilities use the appropriate verbiage and do not contain any derogatory, colloquial, inappropriate, or otherwise incorrect language.
  • In most cases, usage of outmoded terminology in historical situations (e.g. court cases, laws, articles) should be clearly defined in quotations or annotated with contextual information.
  • For example, the use of “illegal alien” in a discussion of law can be framed as “as stated in the decision,” or something similar.
  • Recognize that appropriate terminology is changing all the time, and do your best to use current verbiage. Consult style guides as necessary; note they may be in conflict. Do not feel obligated to use the very latest term if it is not widely used or is controversial.
  • Avoid idioms or colloquialisms, particularly those that will lead to misconceptions among those who natively speak other languages or who may not have the educational or cultural context to understand them.


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Improving Representation and Diversity in OER Materials
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Keywords:terminology, inclusive, language, terms   Doc ID:119897
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
Created:2022-07-25 12:14 CSTUpdated:2022-10-28 09:14 CST
Sites:Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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