Project Spotlights: DEI Revisions

At CSA, we are committed to creating educational materials that reflect the diverse students who use them and that align with the principles of culturally responsive education (CRE). Our efforts focus on perspectives, representation, and empathy in order to help create safe, supportive, and impactful classrooms. We strongly believe that all students should see themselves in the educational materials they use. 

When clients approach us with specific DEI needs, they generally fall into two categories: reviewing existing content through a DEI lens or developing new content with a DEI review step in the workflow. In both types of DEI projects, CSA works with our clients to plan how to address concerns, writers and editors revise accordingly, and our DEI specialists review the content again.

For an example of the first scenario, CSA has been working on a long-term Sensitivity and Diversity review of multiple textbooks for one of our clients. We were asked to review all text, images, and captions for issues with diversity and sensitivity, and call out any issues identified via PDF markup or the client’s platform. The workflow and project plan was established between CSA and the client and the DEI editors were trained to review the content per the established guidelines. CSA’s DEI specialist on the project then reviews the work and markup from the editors and compiles it into one document for the client team. 

Below, we highlight an example of the second scenario where we develop new content with a DEI review step in the workflow. This project required us to make DEI revisions, and also create new content.

Scope

The client asked us to revise lessons and assessments based on their provided DEI review. There were several hundred lesson revisions along with assessments for each lesson. In this case, the client provided us with a DEI review and ranked the revisions based on priority. Our DEI writers were to revise the content based on the findings in the DEI review. We were working within a three-month schedule and managing a team of 25 freelancers.

Process

The DEI review from the client was first checked for clarity and sensitivity by CSA’s internal editorial team. Any issues were then shared with our team of freelance writers who were tasked with revising the material as needed. Tasks required for revision included writing, content editing, image replacement, and primary source reading selection replacement as outlined in the DEI review. After the writers completed revisions, we conducted a content review, a secondary DEI review to ensure original comments were fully addressed without introducing new biases, and a final review by an internal content lead before submitting materials back to the client.

Challenges and Successes

One of the challenges of this particular project was that the amount of necessary revisions were much greater than anticipated within the original timeframe. Another challenge we faced was that the DEI review supplied by the client included vague revision requests that required interpretation and some trial and error to get it correct. On the other hand, we also experienced many successes with this project. For one, our team found the content very rewarding to work on, and it helped strengthen our relationship with this existing client. Additionally, we were able to utilize a stellar group from our Team CSA DEI and ELA freelancers.

Summary

Overall, this project was an exciting one for us. We were able to showcase our DEI expertise and knowledge along with our ability to pivot on a dime and accommodate a change in scope without compromising quality or schedule. Ultimately, our team found this work and project very rewarding.

To learn more about CSA’s DEI services, please visit our website, or contact ibenson@csaedu.com.