Ethical Issues in Learning, Instructional Design, & Technology

EthicsInstructional DesignLearning
In the book's second section, we delve into specific ethical issues such as environmental impacts, accessibility, racial and cultural considerations in design, justice, and rights for data use and analytics, and navigating ethical considerations of learner autonomy in online learning. Warren and colleagues offer much-needed discussion on the environmental impacts of educational technology. Their paper prompts professionals to consider climate change and educational technologies' ecological impacts, which “hides behind product ordering interfaces with simple pricing.” We hope this piece spawns a greatly expanded conversation and body of scholarship with implications for practice and decision-making. Lomellini and colleagues tackle a topic that has long been discussed, but mainly approached through legalistic and compliance orientations. They discuss how this is a limited and limiting approach, inviting instructional designers to approach accessibility through more of a design mindset which embraces the iterative nature of devising solutions. Edouard’s chapter embodies the spirit of creativity and imagination that ethical considerations can evoke as he explores a makerspace designed to foster the creativity and world-building of racially minoritized learners, especially Black children. His chapter provides a specific example of how ethical considerations – namely of race and equity – directly informed the design, development, and implementation of a makerspace for university and school-aged residents in West Philadelphia in the United States. Greenhalgh challenges us to move beyond “superficial nod[s] to questions of justice, harm, and power” to explore deeper assumptions about data ethics. He uses four broad questions about purpose (of education and of educational technology), quality, and voice to illuminate ways in which designers can move beyond surface-level treatments of data rights and privacy. Greenhalgh’s piece echoes Davies’ concerns and answers Davies’ call with an example of how we understand the relationship between technology and education and how we can better question how technology shapes education’s purpose and outcomes. Scholes exemplifies an ethics-as-design approach as she identifies how strategies that better support adult online learners can also carry risks for learners. She models how designers can identify ethical issues that create tensions - or conflicts between different design parameters – and provides ideas for how designers may navigate the need to make trade-offs through various design possibilities. Although her piece may focus on a particular context and set of design considerations, Scholes’ piece serves as an excellent example of how designers can identify ethical issues in any context and then use design methods and ideas to generate possible solutions. The last chapter in our collection, by Sankaranarayanan and Park, addresses recent concerns and practical approaches to the role of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in instructional design practices. Moving beyond simply naming and identifying concerns, this chapter offers a rich array of practical strategies that designers can employ during different design tasks related to AI, both as a tool supporting instructional design and as a set of decisions on whether and how to use AI in educational contexts.

Educational Technology and its Environmental ImpactsThe Imperfection of Accessibility in Instructional Design: An Ethical DilemmaBlack Children at Play: The Cultural Practices of the ILLEST LabDeep Assumptions and Data Ethics in Educational TechnologyTrade-offs in a New Instructional Design for Online Distance Learning: Home-supported Time on Task Versus AutonomyAI-Driven Instructional Design: Ethical Challenges and Practical Solutions

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