This presentation will introduce a new conceptual model to advance the design of online and blended courses for diverse equity learners which is the outcome of a major multi-phased research study. It speaks directly to Theme 5 and the concern for supporting the design of programs for inclusion of diverse students and communities.
Additional data collected about global cases surfaced from a systematic review of open education programs for equity and inclusion (Lambert, 2020) was synthesised to develop a new conceptual model. New and updated conceptual models are important because the more popular theoretical models for online and distance learning (Transactional Distance, and Community of Inquiry models) were developed around 40-50 years ago and have not been sufficiently updated for the ubiquitous online era nor current widening participation and equity contexts. A review of recent literature to update these models for contemporary online learning use was found to be limited in application due to being tested with relatively privileged, often post-graduate student cohorts.
The Six Critical Dimensions model has been developed with reference to foundational and undergraduate level, globally diverse online learners to address issues of power, agency and legitimate diverse motivations for first-in-family, regional, low socio-economic or multi-lingual learners. This model may assist research and practice at higher education institutions where online provision for diverse learners is the current or approaching reality. The session will include participant input into which alternative conceptual models they use and the elements of these models that might be additionally useful for the inclusion of diverse, undergraduate learners and those transitioning to higher education. The aim is to advance a conversation about the pros and cons of conceptual models for the inclusion of diverse learners with a view to more equitable educational outcomes.
Lambert, S. R. (2020). Do MOOCs contribute to student equity and social inclusion? A systematic review 2014–18. Computers & Education, 145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103693 (NB: published online in 2019 as gold open access.)