1 Chapter One: Reflections on Teaching and Learning

Because critical pedagogy, or critical digital pedagogy, is a humanising pedagogy—seeking the human behind the screen, the human behind the bureaucracies of education, the human behind behaviourist technologies.

Teaching through the Screen and Necessity of Imagination Literacy Sean Michael Morris, December 3 2020

Workshop Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Fostering collaboration between faculty and staff, staff and staff: Break down silos and share subject matter expertise between groups.
  • Increasing visibility of design considerations (such as web accessibility guidelines and Universal Design for Learning) from student, faculty, and designer perspectives: These can be applied in any classroom setting.
  • Exploring and implementing equitable and inclusive language in course content, including decolonizing syllabi and inviting students into the design process.
  • Providing a safe space for participants to manage ongoing development opportunities through self-assessment and reflection opportunities.
    • Classify Instructional Design work.
    • Differentiate between expertise of Faculty and Instructional Designers.
    • Analyze aspects of facilitating courses in higher education.

About this guide

This workshop guide is less about “going further” and more about “getting started.” By using (or even better, adapting and remixing) this text as the floor plan for enrichment or development, we can and ought to be critical of our work towards improving student experiences in online, on-ground, and hybrid course environments.

What Does an instructional designer do?

Instructional designers “systematically designing, developing and delivering instructional products and experiences, both digital and physical, in a consistent and reliable fashion” towards achieving “an efficient, effective, appealing, engaging and inspiring acquisition of knowledge.”

Instructional Design definition, via Wikipedia

What do instructional designers not do?

Instructional Designers, whose education and experiences meet at the intersection of pedagogy and technology, do not do the following:

  • Adjust or replace course dates, content, or context without collaborating with faculty. (See What Does an Instructional Designer Do, above.)
  • Grade work.
  • Fix every technological issue that faculty, staff and students may encounter in-or-out of the Learning Management System: Instructional Designers may need to connect with additional educational or information technology, student support or library services groups in order to reconcile outstanding support requests.

what does it mean to teach in 2021?

Teaching in 2021, spurned on by a pandemic that is caused serious and widespread disruption to all aspects of higher education, faculty in higher education face a range of pressing concerns to provide the best learning experience for their students. Now more than ever, faculty need to:

It is more important now than ever that faculty and instructional designers work as teams, from pre-planning on a new course build or redesign in online, on ground, or hybrid modalities and see it through until the end: Nobody is going to get through this alone.

How do we get better, together?

Faculty and instructional designers can make a great team, when both parties let their guard down. Each has a lot to bring to the table. Faculty are subject matter experts, and the main contact person for many students. Instructional Designers are experts in blending learning science with course design in Learning Management Systems. Faculty and instructional designers can work together to develop accessible courses that contain all of the information faculty need their student to absorb without being cognitively overwhelming.

When this collaboration blossoms to the larger university community and includes the institution’s library, accessibility, and information technology departments – everyone benefits. Conversely, silos serve the individual, and the student will surely not benefit.

The next section, Exercises and Activities, is devoted to hands-on experiences that take these principles and make them actionable.

“Design means to make a mark, make a plan, or problem-solve; all human beings thus participate in design.”

Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (2020) Sasha Costanza-Chock


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To the extent possible under law, Bay Path University has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Grow Your Own Instructional Designer Workshop Guide, except where otherwise noted.

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