Content Appropriateness Guidelines
Last updated: November 18, 2020Download Guidelines Document
Renaissance’s mission is to accelerate learning for all children and adults of all ability levels and ethnic and social backgrounds, worldwide. To that end, Renaissance is committed to producing content that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable for all learners.
At Renaissance, we acknowledge the harmful effect to specific individuals or groups that unconscious or implicit biases and social stereotypes create, and we strive to eliminate bias in all forms from both our products and our workplace. Our goal is to develop content that treats individuals and topic areas with appropriate respect and does not offend or otherwise impede a student’s ability to respond to content due to personal characteristics, background, or other aspects that are not relevant to the content. All students should be able to demonstrate the intended knowledge and skills using Renaissance products, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, national origin, or any other protected category.
The purpose of these guidelines is to describe the minimum baseline for all Renaissance-developed content. Though Renaissance develops a variety of educational content types (e.g., instruction, practice, assessment), these guidelines serve as a common set of standards for content development, including text and multimedia.
Each product also has its own, detailed guidelines appropriate for the product and its purpose:
We recognize that bias occurs when an item contains content or language that unfairly impacts the performance of students. Bias within an item can cause the student to get the item correct or incorrect for the wrong reason. Bias is avoided through careful item design, creation, and review by a diverse group of trained content developers.
There are three types of bias reviewed within Renaissance content: content bias, language bias, and item structure or format bias. Understanding different types of bias helps content designers publish bias-free content. Bias-free, or fair, content provides an equal, reasonable, and impartial representation of groups of students and representative situations for groups of students.
The following questions are used throughout the item creation process to avoid or eliminate bias, thereby developing items that contribute to overall fairness.
Item Structure and Format Bias:
Avoid Stereotypes and Unconscious Bias:
Use Inclusive Language:
Avoid Sensitive Topics or Address with Awareness and Respect:
As noted earlier, Renaissance creates products to serve a variety of educational purposes. The following provides examples of topics and topic areas that we avoid or treat with sensitivity depending on the product purpose:
To ensure these guidelines are being followed across all Renaissance product lines, our content staff implement the following quality assurance processes: