Using a Diversity and Inclusion Approach in Designing Learning for All (in Full Human Dimensionality)

Using a Diversity and Inclusion Approach in Designing Learning for All (in Full Human Dimensionality)

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1573-0.ch005

Abstract

To enable a fair playing field and to advance learning domains and to enable the advancement of pluralistic social systems, those engaged in designing, developing, and deploying learning in all modalities (face-to-face/F2F, blended, fully online) need to include and support diverse learners to fully engage in the learning and to contribute their utmost. This work explores the types of approaches that benefit diversity and inclusion approaches in teaching and learning. This also proposes some diversity inclusion design interventions based on five general categories—demographics, cultures, languages, learning preferences, and accessibility needs—in an approach dubbed diversity inclusion learning design + development + deployment (DIL3D).
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Review Of The Literature

Over the years, a number of different explanations have been created to explain human prejudice, a biased and negative impression of others not based on facts but some preconception or prejudgment. A biological explanation of this phenomenon is that the human brain is hardwired to create quick impressions in order to enable quick responses (to enable survival). These impressions are short-cuts to actually fully learning about another. If a human brain has both System 1 and System 2 thinking, the first fast and unconscious, and the second conscious and controlled, prejudice comes from System 1 impressions uncorrected by System 2 thinking. Prejudice is thought of as an “ultimate attribution error”:

(1) when prejudiced people perceive what they regard as a negative act by an outgroup member, they will more than others attribute it dispositionally, often as genetically determined, in comparison to the same act by an ingroup member; (2) when prejudiced people perceive what they regard as a positive act by an outgroup member, they will more than others attribute it in comparison to the same act by an ingroup member to one or more of the following: (a) “the exceptional case,” (b) luck or special advantage, (c) high motivation and effort, and (d) manipulable situational context. (Pettigrew, 1979, p. 461)

The fundamental attribution error occurs when people over-emphasize an agent’s internal characteristics for their behaviors and under-emphasize potential contextual causes. Attribution errors, overall, overweight the underlying cause and so misunderstand the actual situation. Certain personality types, those prone to so-called “essentialist beliefs” (beliefs that a social category has a fixed, inherent, identity-defining nature”) are more prone to prejudice (Allport, 1954, as cited in Haslam, Rothschild, & Ernst, 2002, p. 87). Other research suggests that traits such as “authoritarianism, rigidity and ambiguity intolerance” may also link to prejudice (Haslam, Rothschild, & Ernst, 2002, p. 87). Others suggest that racism “is not a universal feature of human psychology but a historically developed process. Racism begins with the exploitation of people or peoples and with the psychological consequences to which the exploitation leads” (Gaines & Reed, Feb. 1995, p. 96).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Universal Design: A design and development approach to ensure accessibility to all, regardless of differences.

Neutrality: The state of not taking a side, being impartial, not taking a stance or a set view.

Diversity Inclusion Learning Design + Development + Deployment (DIL3D): An approach to be as inclusive of learners as possible by addressing a variety of differences in human dimensions.

Prejudice: The act of pre-judging, applying a preconceived opinion not based on reality (often resulting in a negative judgment).

Inclusion: The act of having a person be part of the whole, able to take part as a full participant.

Fundamental Attribution Error: The tendency to ascribe internal reasons for people’s behaviors instead of external, contextual ones.

Trace Data: Data created in online systems that show user behaviors on the system, including time, actions, intercommunications, and other information.

Interface: The designed enablements for interaction with a system (often technology-based system).

Usability: How well something may be used, fit for use.

Accessibility: The state of being able to be accessed and usable.

Diversity: The state of being varied, with a range of difference.

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