AERA 2024 Conference - Culturally Sustaining Instructional Design

Finding Culturally Inclusive Instructional Strategies: Because of Who I Am, Not in Spite Of

Finding Culturally Inclusive Instructional Strategies: “Because of Who I Am, Not in Spite Of”

Colleen Smith & Bret Staudt Willet


instructional design, culturally sustaining practices


Through this qualitative interview study, we explore how and why designers-by-assignment (DBAs) in higher education incorporate culturally inclusive strategies into their instructional design practices. We interviewed 11 staff DBAs in McNair Scholars programs to inductively identify six culturally inclusive instructional strategies, three specific approaches through which McNair DBAs gauged the effectiveness of these strategies, and issues with assessment. We also applied the culturally sustaining instructional design (CSID) model to deductively map the strategies to culturally sustaining (i.e., community) and instructional-design (i.e., support, pedagogy, content, and demonstrate) principles. Findings provide insight into best practices for designing inclusive and socially just online learning environments, leveraging the strengths of both instructional design and culturally sustaining pedagogy.

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