Tools of the Trade: Special Issue Focus

Four new product features are designed with diversity in mind.

Tools of the TradeBusiness schools and business organizations alike are seeking ways to overcome bias, recruit differing perspectives, and enact more equitable policies. In response, more companies are developing tools to make it easier for organizations of all types to create more inclusive cultures. Below is a sampling of the latest offerings:




NAMING RIGHT

NameCoach is a tool to help faculty and business leaders overcome the problem of mispronouncing unfamiliar names or using the wrong name or gender pronoun with transgender or gender-noncomforming individuals. The platform integrates into existing learning management systems to provide accurate audio of name pronunciations, as well as students’ chosen names and pronouns.




FACING DOWN RACISM

UnboundEd, an organization of former educators devoted to improving the practice of teaching, has created a free downloadable Bias Toolkit to help educators facilitate conversations about race and bias. The toolkit offers a historical look at racism in America and includes sessions on how bias manifests in schools, as well as information about how educators can share what they’ve learned.




IMPACT TRACKER

Liaison International and Campus Compact have collaborated to create Compact2Learn, an online tool to help students and institutions both document learning goals and track learning outcomes linked to civic engagement initiatives. By capturing this information, Compact2Learn enables students to more easily incorporate their civic engagement activities into their e-portfolios and résumés and institutions to better demonstrate their impact on their communities.




EARLY INTERVENTIONS

Top Hat, a learning platform for higher education, has added features to make it easier for educators to gather insights on student performance. These features include Gradebook, a customizable and searchable interface that tracks student participation and results for every type of assessment, and Weekly Course Report, which recaps student performance each week. These tools allow professors to identify and offer help to struggling students early on in their courses, in ways that could improve retention rates. The cost per user is US$30 for Top Hat’s complete platform. “Our goal,” says chief product officer Eran Ben-Ari, “is to enable professors to course-correct at any time and ensure every student is successful.”

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