The Journal of Applied Instructional Design


The Design Models We Have Are Not the Design Models We Need

Whitbeck (1996) presents a design-anchored approach to ethics that provides a way to think about the intersection of instructional design and social justice. While ethics are typically treated as deciding between what is “right” or “wrong,” Whitbeck (1996) explains this is a simplistic view, as ethics are about confronting complex moral problems that require designers to devise responses (design). When critiqued through the lens of accessibility and equity and racial and economic inequalities, areas where present design models fall short become apparent. Ethics as design affords a way to see design models anew and reconsider design practices.

Designing for Liberation: A Case Study in Antiracism Instructional Design

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While grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing racialized, anti-Black violence, uprisings around the nation have launched anti-racism into popular consciousness and discourse. In higher education, many statements of solidarity with Black lives have been made with few structural changes offered or enacted. This essay positions instructional design as a material act that extends the organizing logic of education to learners and students (Harney & Moten, 2013) and offers anti-racism as a multimodal framework for instructional design centered upon dismantling the organizing logics of white supremacy and building liberatory possibilities, especially for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). The essay directs these questions and concerns to a case study, the Creative Discovery Fellows program (CDF) at U.C. Berkeley.

Promoting Organizational Justice In Cross-Cultural Data Collection, Analysis, And Interpretation: Towards An Emerging Conceptual Model

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Human performance improvement (HPI) practitioners, including Instructional designers (IDs), typically strive to inform inclusive, equitable, and socially just organizational development, workplace learning, and performance improvement decisions when working across cultures. The intention behind these types of decisions is to avoid causing harm to organizational members and the larger societies they serve. One way researchers, IDs, and HPI practitioners can support inclusive, equitable, and socially just organizational decision-making is by operating under organizational justice theory. In this work, we describe how organizational justice theory can be applied by practitioners in cross-cultural data collection, analysis, and interpretation project work.

Reconsidering Dale’s Cone: Towards the Development of a 21st Century “Cone of Experience” to Address Social Justice Issues

With the overarching goal of understanding the full scope of recent technology trends, this position paper developed an initial framework of possible instructional technologies and their potential impact on social justice issues. To construct this framework, an analysis of technology trends during the last 11 years was conducted. Our emerging framework includes 11 primary technology trends categories. In addition to describing this framework, specific social justice instructional activities in utilizing Molenda and Subramony’s (2021) communication configurations, as well as elements of the Cone of Experience described by Dale (1969), are proposed.

Equity Unbound as Critical Intercultural Praxis

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This article traces the emergence of Equity Unbound, originally founded as “equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning curriculum” (Equity Unbound, n.d.) and designed with a critical curriculum approach. We outline how our design and praxis centers on social justice and how our activities and purpose have continued to evolve to respond, with care, to the needs of our networks. We then offer a critical autoethnographic account from an educator who started on the margins of Equity Unbound and later became a key co-facilitator.

Realizing Equity and Inclusion Goals in the Design of MOOCs

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Our research explores coherence between diversity, equity, and inclusion goals that faculty articulate in advance of the design process and their enactment within massive open online courses (MOOCs). The purpose of the study is to gain an understanding of the types of goals identified by faculty within course design proposals and how those goals are instantiated in corresponding course designs when working with design teams. Our team analyzed 11 single MOOC and MOOC series proposals to characterize the design goals stated. Following the proposal analysis, we analyzed 32 corresponding courses to identify instances in which stated goals related to diversity, equity, and inclusion were realized. Our analysis revealed patterns between proposed goal types and the ways in which goals manifest in courses related to the way in which content or learning processes were central to the design. We intend to use the results to inform the development of processes to engage in a systematic and purposeful approach for the realization of equitable and inclusive design goals in MOOCs.

Designing for Every Student: Practical Advice for Instructional Designers on Applying Social Justice in Learning Design

The authors propose a social justice lens to be adopted by instructional designers in designing curricula that serves the needs of all students while working towards creating an inclusive learning environment. They provide practical recommendations for practitioners in face-to-face, blended, or online settings focusing on five key areas: inclusivity, communication, content, flexibility, and feedback-seeking. Along with theoretical underpinnings, the authors define each of the areas and provide considerations and recommendations for practice that would be applicable in higher education settings.

Designing a Virtual Learning Environment for Critical Media Literacy Education

In this reflective practitioner essay, we describe our redesign of a large undergraduate course, “Education and Film” (EdFilm), which teaches Critical Media Literacy (CML) to 181 students at a large state university. Using Practitioner Inquiry methods, we discuss the significance of the broader social context in shaping our design, show how we used Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to inform five design choices, and share outcomes from the course. Our findings indicate our course redesign increased flexibility and accessibility without sacrificing student learning outcomes. Reflecting on these findings, we argue for a redesign process that puts student learning goals at the center, considers the impacts of social context (especially with regard to social inequalities), and applies UDL to maximize accessibility and social justice.

Preparing Educators for Culturally Responsive Teaching Through Technical Cultural Representations

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This paper describes a professional development program that is designed to prepare in-service educators for culturally responsive teaching (CRT) through practice with the development of technical representations of cultural themes in an international context. Six categories of technical cultural representation are introduced with examples from both CRT literature and our program: cultural mapping, inquiring, writing, augmenting, documenting, and making. Our program features Saturday classes in spring, a two-week study abroad immersion in summer with portfolio development, and follow-up classes in fall with project sharing and lesson planning. The program has run seven times in four countries between 2011 and 2019, introducing 128 educators to CRT strategies enabled by technology while developing identities as culturally responsive educators with expanded cultural perspectives. Findings from an impact study are shared, suggesting the program has been successful in helping most educators learn new technologies and strategies for cultural representation with writing frames and global projects, in particular, being reapplied in classrooms. Some educators also noted they had increased in their understanding of culture-focused activities and themes that were more meaningful and tied into social justice issues, while others had learned to better recognize diverse cultures in their own classrooms and were modifying teaching practices to honor those perspectives and traditions. The paper concludes with design recommendations for others seeking to offer professional development in CRT.

Learning in Diverse Educational Contexts: Bringing Social Justice when Designing Culturally Rich Learning Experiences in Brazil

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The research study aims to understand how culturally rich learning experiences in urban settings can change people’s perceptions towards social justice. The methodology used is known as research-training in cyberculture. The study takes place in the context of a course offered to in-service teachers by the Federal Institute of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Fifty-two educators participated in this study. The educators' narratives described opportunities to interact with local culture and art, as well as practices that highlight cultural diversity and ways to promote social justice.

Humanities Education in the U.S. Rural South: Design, Development, and Practice

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The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a humanities education project that took place in a middle school in the rural U.S. South. Through a partnership between a state university and local school system, K-12 teachers engaged in two years of professional development on the integration of humanities education into the regular curriculum through project-based learning (PBL). During this project, teachers were required to personally and professionally engage with racial tensions rooted in the history of the local community as they learned to implement their PBL activities. This context is central to the design and implementation of the project as presented in this paper. We detail three learning strategies that emerged and how these were taken up by teachers: the personalization of history, historical perspective taking, and modeling a critical position. We discuss the implications of these strategies for integrating PBL and humanities education in a way that attends to socio-cultural-historical contexts. Implications for the practice of learning design in similar contexts are also discussed.

STEM Teachers’ Designs for Learning: Addressing the Social and Political Climate During COVID-19

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This study examined how seven math and science secondary teachers addressed social justice teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic and how their instructional practices mapped onto their pedagogical intentions. Guided by trauma-informed teaching practices and learner engagement conceptual frameworks, the authors argue STEM induction teachers need greater support to design instruction that enables students to apply knowledge to social justice issues. Participants’ understanding and enactment of social justice pedagogy varied, leading the authors to provide continued support to the cohort of teachers for their students to feel empowered to address, discuss, and apply the discipline knowledge in STEM to social justice issues.

Computing for Communities: Designing Culturally Responsive Informal Learning Environments for Broadening Participation in Computing

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Despite increased attention on promoting access to computer science among all students, female and racially minoritized youth continue to be underrepresented in STEM, often lacking opportunities for computer science due to under-resourced schools and a lack of teacher preparation. As a result, K-12 schools are unable to fulfill the goal of expanding access and broadening participation in computing alone. In this paper, we examine how our university-library partnerships can provide access to computer science instruction while attending to issues of social justice through culturally responsive informal learning design. Findings provide insights related to the design, implementation, and outcomes of informal computing clubs for youth from diverse backgrounds.

With Our Community, for Our Community: Expanding Possibilities for Engaging in STEM

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We examine shifting perceptions of STEM for Latinx teens involved in a “Community STEM” environment. This design shows promise in broadening the definition of science and leveraging expertise of STEM-underrepresented youth. However, these programs are still not typical and merit further investigation. Therefore, we examined a Community STEM project where Latinx teens addressed local noise pollution. Teens documented sound levels, created graphs and maps, presented to stakeholders, and built acoustic panels. Researchers employed an ethnographic perspective, identifying science-relevant roles and artifacts. Artifacts became focal points, promoting reflection on noise pollution, potential solutions, and roles in the project and community.