Engaging in Equity in the Instructional Design Process: A Conversation on Where We are and How We Learn More

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session Best in Track Equity and Inclusion

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Where are we with equity in instructional design? How do we bring about discussions around equity issues, similar to accessibility, in our design process from course design to educational technology? This session will look at how equity and the instructional design profession intersect and how we begin to design with an equity mindset. We will explore where we are in our journey and seek to facilitate a conversation and collaborate with others along their journey of understanding race, culture and gender equity to bring this movement to the forefront similar to the push accessibility has had in the last five years.

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With over 15 years in higher education and online course development, I provide instructional design support to faculty in the development and improvement of online/hybrid/F2F courses to improve student success outcomes. My journey into issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity was kick-started several years ago and I began reading books and articles, attending programs and workshops, and getting involved with equity initiatives on my campus. My journey continues to push me to think about how systems impact my work as an instructional designer and those that encounter my designs. I love connecting around topics of design justice, co-design, ethics, and instructional design decision-making. When I'm not thinking about all of these engaging topics, you can find me with my family, either on the soccer field with my son or the funky art shops with my daughter. My husband and I love to hike and be outside and our two dogs, Mojo and Pepper, would agree that this is a good way to spend every day (if they could!). Food, books, and good (decaf) coffee all rank high on my 'ways to be more hygge' list, as well. Hope to connect with you around shared interests online or in conference spaces!
Veronica Armour is an educator and learning designer interested in the interdisciplinary connections between people, knowledge, and information, human centered design, and innovation that inform face-to-face and digital environments for 21st century learning. She is an instructional designer in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University where she also teaches part-time for the Information Technology and Informatics program.  Her current work involves designing the student experience for the Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Academy at Rutgers University. She is also exploring the potential of the design thinking process and mindset to interrupt cognitive bias and develop new models for equity in learning experience design. Her research questions include the interconnectedness of design thinking, entrepreneurship, and 21st century skills. She has served on the Executive Board of the Emerging Learning Design organization and is currently involved with the NJ Makers community.  She has experience with developing online courses, workshops, and events related to teaching and learning with technology, active learning, and maker activities.  She is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops at the local and national level.  As Raspberry Pi Certified Educator she enjoys tinkering with technology and hosting workshops to inspire interest in STEM activities.

Extended Abstract

This session will focus on design decisions and processes and how we might better approach them through the lens of equity.  From the tools we use to develop and deliver content to the best practices we use to engage faculty, students and stakeholders, there are multiple opportunities to bring awareness to issues of social justice and transform instructional design. We will look at the ideas and actions of individuals and groups focusing on equity in education. We seek to share not only what we have learned, but also we seek input and self-reflection on our instructional design practices in order to adequately address marginalized groups in education. We want to facilitate a conversation and see how we can build bridges that transform our profession to prioritize social justice and equity similar to the movement around accessibility.

The idea for this session started with an EdSurge Loop call where two instructional designers found a common interest in the ideas of social justice and equity in course design.  As we shared inspirational articles and resources it became apparent that one 30-minute phone call between two people would not be enough to answer the questions we had.

Discussions related to social justice, equity and inclusion are not new to the instructional design world. Where we come into this cycle of - Awareness - Awakening - Action - may differ but our individual experiences and knowledge can help us as a profession to transform our practices.

We hope to continue this conversation with IDs, faculty members and others who are dedicated to this topic with the hopes of developing better, more inclusive practices and with a focus on where we each of us may be, as well as, where our institutions may be in this cycle. 

Level of Participation:

The presentation style will be collaborative as the presenters weave their experiences together to create an on-ramp for attendees to join the presenters in constructing knowledge together. (30 minutes) Attendees will be arranged into small groups with each group given a different reflection prompt to first consider individually (5 minutes) then within the groups. (10 minutes)  As groups share a summary of key things from their conversations the presenters will capture the information to include as part of the session resources to add to the body of knowledge on the topic. 

Session Goals:

At the end of the session, we will share the resources we have gathered with the idea of curating a digital commons for instructional designers and other partners to collaborate, join in, share and disseminate as we develop more process and thought around equity in our field.

We hope to continue to facilitate a conversation around this topic with other IDs at other institutions and grow the knowledge base and expertise.