Learn how inclusivity can be integrated into instructional design and learning communities. Additionally, learn what framework questions need to be asked when developing your inclusive approach.
- In the case of online learning, we're rapidly becoming one large virtual community. People from different countries, cultures, generations and genders are connecting for the first time and learning from each other. The learning happens not only from having access to content, but from the sharing of the content between learners. By creating spaces that include all voices, we're shaping the future of education to reflect the global population. This grants people pathways to education that might not have it otherwise. So, how can you as a person who creates, and maybe even delivers, the online learning experience consider all the people who might be seeking out what you have to offer. Before we dive into that question, let's make sure we're on the same page about some learning terminology. First, Instructional Design in its simplest form is the creation of learning experiences and materials. As designers, we determine and organize the chunks of instruction, figure out ways to make it digestible, and perhaps, interactive to engage the learner. Next, Inclusive Design creates a blueprint for products with the full range of human diversity in mind. The idea is that by including and learning from people with diverse perspectives, we enrich experiences, strengthen our connections, and develop more user-friendly products. Combining these two definitions and approaches, Inclusive Instructional Design, or IID, applies methods to design learning content and experiences for people with a range of perspectives and learning needs. Now, just to be clear, you may be familiar with the term Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, which is a framework that aims to give all students an equal learning opportunity. The difference between UDL and IID is that Universal Design attempts to design for everyone and Instructional Inclusive Design attempts to adapt the learning experiences to reach the full range of a potential audience. So now, let's return to the question of how to consider a potential audience by going through this next activity. Please feel free to pause the video in-between each question to write down your responses. First, who are the learners you are currently reaching? Define your audience by writing down three characteristics of this learner. Next, who are you not reaching that you want to include? Write down three characteristics of this potential learner. Finally, think about how you can reach the people you are not reaching. What actions could you take at this very moment to design for them? Write down three steps to support the characteristics of a potential learner you identified. By answering these questions, you're starting to shape your vision of your potential reach and also ways you could potentially design for this wider audience. Listen, I realize including everyone in your course or training can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible. The most important step is to focus on the audience you want to expand to. It may be small at first, but as you design and then stretch your reach, I guarantee, the more your learning community will grow.
- Designing for a global reach
- Addressing the digital divide
- Using inclusive language
- Designing for diverse cultures and multiple generations
- Creating content for various learning styles
- Building learning communities
- Accessibility for differently abled learners
- Using learning analytics to assess your goals