Single Most Essential Requirement

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The Single Most Essential Requirement in Designing an Online Course

Cathy Davidson, in her Intro to Engaged Teaching and Transformative Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences, brought up an important point about online learning in the 2020’s. She said that planning for better online learning will be wasted if we don’t begin from the premise that our clients are “learning from a place of dislocation, anxiety, uncertainty, awareness of social injustice, anger, and trauma. So are we.”

Before we even think about a course plan or videos or Zoom, think about what it means to be a learner. Now.

“We need to design as humans for humans in a global crisis. We need to design our courses with the awareness of pain, dislocation, uncertainty, and trauma now central to all our lives. And we need to design with the antidotes to these central to the educational experience: pleasure, community, agency, and care,” Davidson says.

Davidson adds, “Beginning by addressing students where they are now, “at this historical moment, means providing space and structure where they can think powerfully about themselves and the world beyond Fall 2020, beyond this plague, beyond trauma. It does what the best education is designed to do: it offers students a tool to help them be stronger in the present and build towards their own and society’s better future.”

The premise of Universal Design in Learning (UDL) is that you design for everyone, where they are.

Recommended Resources

Constructive alignment (Biggs 2011)

Social bookmarking (McIntyre and Watson 2016)

Frequently Asked Questions

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