Designing University Courses to Promote Students’ Equity and Self Awareness

This webinar is available for free to NCFR members and to Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs). Log in, or become an NCFR member or a CFLE, to access it.
February 16, 2022 11:00am - 12:00pm
$29 for NCFR student members / $49 for NCFR members & CFLEs / $89 for nonmembers & non-CFLEs

Julie K. Nelson, Ph.D., CFLE
Julie K. Nelson, M.A., CFLE

Forming a teaching environment that promotes respect and appreciation among peers while also recognizing and reducing bias and racism can be challenging. This webinar will provide information about an evidenced-based, pedagogical design that can help promote equity when teaching social science topics from a systems approach. For example, the presenter will share information about in-class activities that allow students to practice and discuss the systemic issues related to inequalities within and around families in the safety of the classroom. Using this design in their own classes, attendees will be provided with tools to (1) create and facilitate effective peer grouping, (2) promote student self-awareness into personal biases, racism, inequality, and (3) challenge students to become more competent in working with and appreciating differences in others within their own classrooms.

A brief summary of Malcolm Knowles and Abraham Maslow's work will be provided as a foundation to adult learning processes. Next, the presenter will share how to formulate and facilitate classroom community grouping and collaborative learning activities. This will include an introduction to a university classroom model called community grouping, that simulates family dynamics and sparks self-awareness into personal biases, racism, and inequality while challenging students to become more competent in working with and appreciating differences in others. Finally, an opportunity will be provided for participants to practice, apply, and share their experiences using the newly taught teaching methods.

By the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  1. Establish diverse peer groups in university classrooms to simulate the emotional elements of family systems;
  2. Develop classroom activities that promote equity and self-awareness among students; and
  3. Foster student self-awareness of personal biases, racism, and inequality.

Approved for 1.0 hour of CFLE continuing education credit.

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About the Presenter

Julie K. Nelson, M.A., CFLE, is an assistant professor and supervisor of Family Science students' community and international practicum. She has designed five university courses at Utah Valley University, two that carry a service-learning designation and one with a global/intercultural designation. She is trained in team-based learning and is a Senior Fellow in the Higher Education Academy. She directs the university-led Family Life Education internship, "The Stronger Families Project" (see


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