What to Expect: O’Donnell Learn & PADLA Present Equity and Inclusion in Online Course Design

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Jul 30, 2020

Topic: Equity and Inclusion in Online Course Design

Date: Wednesday, August 5, 12 – 1 p.m. or 6 – 7 p.m. EDT

Format: Webinar, Presentation followed by a brief discussion.

Host: Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey Distance Learning Association (PADLA)

Price: FREE

Presenters: Carrie O’Donnell, Founder, O’Donnell Learn & Brett Christie, Ph.D, Director of Learning Experience Design, O’Donnell Learn

This FREE, one-hour webinar will present and invite discussion around the implementation of Universal Design for Learning, including practices for digital equity and inclusion.

Though Fall 2020 remains uncertain, I’m excited to discuss what can be done differently to ensure equal access and the opportunity to excel for the greatest number and diversity of students. I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned across 15 years experience with Universal Design for Learning, especially newer elements related to equity and inclusion. Brett Christie, Ph.D.

The emergency remote instruction of Spring 2020 exposed ways in which institutions or instructors placed more students on the wrong side of the digital divide. Unfortunately, the rapid shift to online also served to widen the accessibility gap, further marginalizing students with disabilities or those needing materials in alternate formats.

With Fall 2020 upon us, it is imperative we critically examine how to develop and deliver courses, resources and experiences in an inclusive manner. Teaching strategies and learning solutions must promote access, inclusivity and a sense of belonging to ensure learning experiences are as equitable as possible across a wide range of students.

Participants joining us can expect to gain:

  • Understanding and empathy for how rapid scaling to online instruction can exacerbate teaching-learning inequities

  • Guidance for using the principles of Universal Design for Learning as a framework inclusive course design and delivery

  • Awareness of Universal Design for Learning resources available to guide related course changes, including examples

  • Opportunities to interact around main issues instructors and students face as well as solutions aimed at minimizing learning process inequities

  • Access to Brett and Carrie’s presentation outlining the Universal Design for Learning Strategies

Join us online August 5, at 12 noon or 6 p.m. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Sessions are identical.

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Higher Ed Has the Toolset, But Do They Have the Mindset to Future-fit?

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Aug 12, 2021

Imagine a fresh-faced eighteen year old, naive to the great big world ahead, hoping for an acceptance into an accredited two or four year college. They’re navigating the long hall towards their college counselor’s office, reviewing the list of schools in their mind, while envisioning a future of friends, inspiring courses and eventually a career, a life. College, whether community or four year, will be their first steps towards adulthood, towards maturity, or so they think.  What they don't know, what they aren’t told, is that most higher education is unequipped to prepare them for life. The real responsibilities they’ll meet when they exit campus are not delineated, explored or taught in school.  To make matters more complicated, the notion of the “traditional student” no longer exists. Students are opting out of four year residential colleges for two year schools and online programs. They’re also delaying the start of college in pursuit of a career. Additionally, there’s been an enormous uptick in adult learners, with families, who start school later, or attend school in tandem with a job. It’s clear: there’s a broken talent pipeline. And an enormous question: is higher education fit for the future?

Looking Back/Learning Forward: Lessons For the Now Normal

Published By Brett Christie, PhD
on Jul 20, 2021

Looking Back, Learning Forward, a motto and mindset to utilize as we envision the future of distance education and fuse historic learning practices with modern lifestyles. I recently co-hosted a webinar with Dr. Jim Julius, Faculty Director of Online Learning at Mira Costa College, where we walked a group of educators through insights gathered over the last fourteen months of online learning. If one thing is clear, it is that it’s been a journey for everyone: faculty, students, education consultants, learning designers, institutional leadership, and families alike. 

Launching Faculty Learning Communities: Participation is All About Perceived Value

Published By Brett Christie, PhD
on Jul 14, 2021

In an earlier webinar, O’Donnell Learn CEO, Carrie O’Donnell and I shared practical ideas and examples for building learning communities among faculty. These communities provide a rich opportunity for faculty to gather around a common goal, learning together and from each other while accomplishing a desired outcome.   Faculty learning communities can provide the time, space and resources for mission-critical efforts related to teaching and learning. Teaching expertise is most often not part of the faculty background, nor is instructional design a common skill. Plus, faculty often develop courses in isolation. In contrast, gathering faculty around learning design can create vibrant exchanges of what’s working, what’s not, and problem-solving around how to make improvements.