fbpx Skip to content

Writing DEI Statements for Online Courses

A well-written diversity statement sets the tone and communicates your firm commitment to creating and improving educational opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background.

But, what goes into a diversity statement? How long should it be? How is a diversity statement different for an online course?

We’ll answer all of your questions and provide you with an DEI statement example to use in your online courses.

What is a diversity statement?

A diversity statement is a document that explains:

  • Your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • How DEI impacts the students’ learning experience
  • What your learns can expect from you
  • What you expect from your students

A diversity statement is often referred to as a DEI statement or diversity and inclusion statement/policy.


How long should a DEI statement be?

Be clear and concise, but don’t worry about counting words.

Whether you write 100 words or 100 pages, your main goal is to clearly explain your DEI mission and purpose.

Is a diversity statement different for an online course?

Most of the information will be similar, but a diversity statement for an online course requires some additional information.

Writing a diversity statement for an in-person class will be similar to the statement you’ll use in an online course. However, for an online course, you’ll need to explain the extra steps you’ll take to overcome the obstacles that a distance learning environment creates, such as web accessibility and how you’ll help drive engagement in a virtual setting.

Is there a diversity statement format you need to follow?

Nope. Write the diversity statement how you want and make it your own.

If you want to use paragraphs, go for it. If you prefer bullet points, use them.

Use any format and content you want to get your point across in a meaningful way.

We’ll provide you with a sample diversity statement template later in this article, but keep this in mind: it’s just an example to give you direction and inspiration. Use it as is or edit it as much as you want.

How to write a diversity statement for an online course

Describe your commitment to DEI and why it’s important to you

Set the stage for the rest of the statement and use this section as your opportunity to provide context and begin building trust.

  • Use a powerful introduction to set the tone and grab their attention
  • Explain what DEI means to you and describe your experience.
  • Regardless of your race, gender, ethnicity, age, or condition, describe your experience and understanding.


Explain how DEI impacts the learning experience

The goal of this section is for learners to understand exactly how DEI benefits the learning experience for themselves and others.

  • Describe how DEI creates a well-rounded learning experience that considers different perspectives.
  • Explain how it creates a learning environment that provides everyone with a fair and equitable opportunity to learn.
  • Emphasize that DEI creates an inclusive learning environment that welcomes everyone.

Tell them what to expect from you

Just like learners want to know what’s expected of them, they want to know what to expect from you as an instructor. This is also where you’ll add information about how DEI is especially important in an online course and the steps you’ll take to improve it.

  • Explain that you’ll consider DEI in every aspect of the course, from the course content and exam accommodations to the language you use and discussions you facilitate.
  • Reiterate that you will enforce consequences for poor behavior and ask students to be vocal about holding you accountable and helping to educate others.
  • Acknowledge that a remote learning environment poses challenges, such as effectively communicating and connecting and ensuring web accessibility, but tell them you’ll take extra steps to continually learn and improve to overcome any barriers.

Tell learners what you expect from them

Explain what’s expected of them and how they play a role in creating an inclusive learning environment.

  • Be explicit about what behavior is expected.
  • Explain that derogatory and offensive language won’t be tolerated and the consequences that you will enforce.
  • Speak about the importance of using inclusive language and how it can help create a sense of belonging for other students.
  • Explain how their words and behavior play a role in creating an inclusive learning environment.

Example Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Feel free to copy-and-paste this templated DEI statement example below, but remember that it’s just an example. You can use it how it is or edit it as much as you’d like.

As an educator, using diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one piece of a larger effort that helps achieve a very important goal: improving the educational experience for each student.

I’m committed to this effort because I know it’s these differences that inspire compassion, encourage creativity, create a community, and support you in your education and life.

The terms are interconnected, but let’s lay out what they mean.

Diversity goes beyond things like age, race, gender, and sexual orientation; it also includes our perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds that make us the unique individuals we are.

Equity doesn’t mean equality. Instead of providing you all with identical resources, you’ll receive the specific resources you need as an individual to learn, access, participate, and succeed in this course.

Inclusion creates a genuine sense of belonging in an environment where everyone is welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.

DEI impacts the educational experience for you and your classmates in many ways. It provides different perspectives, challenges you to think holistically, and creates an invaluable sense of inclusion and belonging.

What to expect from me

You can expect me to use a variety of resources and challenge you to think from a diverse perspective in every area of this course.

Online learning changes. Your needs change. Technologies change. What works today may not work tomorrow. That said, you can expect me to get things wrong. But I promise to continually learn, adapt, and improve to the best of my ability, and I challenge you to do the same.

I take feedback very seriously and use it as a tool to learn and improve. I expect and hope that you’ll give me feedback along the way. This means sharing your concerns as well as what you (and even your peers) enjoyed.

Your role

Each person in this course plays an equal part in creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. You can make a positive impact on the educational experience of your peers. I challenge you to learn from them and share your knowledge.

You’ll treat each student with respect and understand that your words and actions influence everyone around you. I will not tolerate any derogatory or offensive words or actions. It’s your duty, just like mine, to stay informed, aware, and proactive.

Remember, you have a voice, and your voice matters. You’re an important part of this course and our ongoing effort to create a better educational experience that truly supports your educational journey and life.

How to establish and use DEI in your online courses

Now that you know how to write a diversity statement, you need to know how to effectively establish and use DEI in your online course.

From the way you communicate with your students to the way you develop course content and test their knowledge, DEI plays a role in every aspect of your online courses.


Sign up for weekly tips, research, ebooks, & industry trends