A Model for Culturally Sustaining Instructional Design
A student’s culture plays a role in ​learning​, and ​research​ suggests ​instructional​ designers may be able to enhance the ​online​ learning experiences for diverse students. ​Because there is not one prevailing model or framework for ​adapting​ learning systems to be inclusive of ​cultural​ diversity, we propose a new model, Culturally Sustaining Instructional Design (CSID), that modifies and synthesizes the Integrated Multicultural Instructional Design model and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy principles.​ The CSID model will help instructional designers reflect on the higher education system and how ​their​ own cultures and biases shape their ​design​ decisions for socially just online learning environments.
Analysis of Associated Factors that Influence the Accessibility of Online Higher Education
Online distance education is one of the fastest-growing sectors of postsecondary enrollment, and accessibility is becoming a more prominent issue. This study used a descriptive quantitative survey methodology to explore the characteristics of institutions and individuals who are responsible for implementing accessibility. Overall, the findings indicate growth in the implementation of accessible course design practices. The results revealed the association of several factors focused on institutional accessibility support and accessibility compliance support. Although no models or inferences can be made from these associations, they do suggest that institutional accessibility practices may have a key role in accessible online course design.
Changing from Within: Narratives of Resistance from Equity-Oriented Learning Designers
This paper draws on a larger study where 34 women practising and supporting equity-oriented learning design across the world were interviewed in early 2021. The paper highlights the strategies learning designers use to navigate clashes between their own values and those held by their institutions. The authors argue that positionality, institutional culture, and personal history impact how learning designers navigate these spaces and that understanding context is essential when using an ecosystems theory view. Finally, the paper explores four shared building blocks framed by brown’s (2017) elements of an emerging strategy, which promotes a way of seeing change as small actions and connections. These in turn create complex systems and patterns which eventually become ecosystems and societies.
Designing Systems with Care: Responding to Inequality in an Online Course in South Africa
Contemporary South Africa is a highly unequal society, emerging from a history of racial segregation, characterized by diversity along dimensions such as class, race, ethnicity, linguistic background, religion, culture and rural-urban locations (Czerniewicz et al., 2020). Informed by this diversity, higher education institutions attempt to “balance the pursuit of equity, quality and development goals” (Badat, 2020, p. 26). Over the last few years, in particular during COVID-19, care-oriented approaches that emphasise student wellbeing and belonging, such as humanizing online teaching, intentional hospitality, liberating structures,and trauma-informed design have gained traction in higher education. Drawing on three dimensions of human relations, namely affect, reciprocity and power associated with Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, we reflect on how adopting a care approach and working with trauma-informed pedagogies in a postgraduate course on blended and online course design was experienced by course participants. In this paper, we draw on voluntary participant interviews and our own reflections as course facilitators to make an argument for a caring learning design that intentionally creates caring learning experiences for a highly diverse group of students. Participants in this course come from geographically diverse locations, from secondary or corporate environments with differently positioned home institutions and diverse access to resources. Also, participants’ positionality and disciplinary backgrounds require different forms of care. We found that Tronto’s concepts of paternalistic and parochial care useful to reflect on our own care practices, as they highlight the importance of creating spaces where students can co-create the care relationship, while understanding how their different positionalities impact their voice and agency, but also remind us how important it is to understand how students’ context differ from our own and to set up caring relationships that suit their contexts.
From Nature to Pen: Designing an Inclusive Writing Course for Educators
This design case highlights a collaborative effort among teachers, professors, park rangers, and local mindfulness instructors. Together, they developed a virtual course aimed at promoting wellness through nature and reflective writing, while emphasizing diversity. The team utilized instructional design processes and levels of culture to create an inclusive asynchronous course for educators. They faced challenges regarding the design team composition and the influence of popular culture, which hindered inclusivity. Recommendations include diversifying the design team, incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion audit, and allowing intentional planning time. These steps aim to enhance inclusivity and cater to diverse populations in instructional design endeavors.
Guiding Course Development: Trauma-Informed Rubrics for Asynchronous Online Learning Environments
Trauma has a ubiquitous and deleterious impact on learning and engagement, impacting students in physiological and psychological ways and thus interfering with nearly every facet of the learning experience. Educators who are attuned to these effects can design trauma-informed courses that anticipate and attend to student needs. We contribute to the extensive research on humanizing and trauma-informed pedagogies in online spaces by focusing on instructional approaches that can be structured to enhance student safety, engagement, and learning outcomes within asynchronous learning environments. We propose two rubrics – one focusing on the instructor role and other focusing on course content – to provide guidance to instructors and course facilitators in their course development of trauma-informed content in online learning environments.
Liberatory Design Thinking for Equity-Centered Instructional Design: A Systems Thinking Analysis
As per the National Equity Project, any system that produces inequities, injustices, and inequalities is often a product of design. Research has shown that systemic inequity often results from the design process and can rupture the power balance producing inequitable relationships in the social justice arena (NEP, n.d.). Systems design in K-12, higher education, and other organizational or workplace contexts are crucial to empower every learner with equitable opportunities or create more inequities. The historical data shows that systemic inequities were intentionally designed with oppression as the goal; hence the importance of equity-centered systems design justice becomes indispensable for producing equitable learning experiences for everyone (NEP, n.d.). Equity-centered systems design is pivotal in dismantling systems of oppression and empowering people of color, people with disability, the LGBTQ+ community, the indigenous, and other marginalized communities. Using the liberatory design thinking framework, instructional designers can recognize individual, institutional, and structural inequities and create opportunities to produce equitable learning experiences for learners. An equity-centered liberatory design thinking approach can support instructional designers in identifying and addressing the problems of inequities in an existing system. By considering the ethos and strategies necessary to center equity by design, instructional designers can provide a platform and opportunity for all stakeholders to practice converging and divergent thinking. Furthermore, the needs and beliefs about learning design as they ideate solutions grounded in the experiences of people from diverse backgrounds, especially people with disability, the LGBTQ+ community, the indigenous, and other marginalized communities. (Khalil, 2020).