When someone mentions Universal Design, we immediately think of accessibility, but how does culture and inclusivity fit in, particularly in the online environment. With student demographics becoming more varied and global each semester, how can we as Professors and Instructional Designers, design curriculum which is relevant to students of different languages, identities, religions and cultures? An inclusive curriculum is one where all students’ entitlement to access and participation in a course is anticipated, acknowledged and taken into account (Morgan and Houghton, 2011). Croucher’s and Romer’s definition states that an inclusive approach does not place groups in opposition to each other. It respects diversity but does not imply a lack of commonality. It values equality of opportunity but encourages all to feel that this relates to them (2007). Research by Liu, Liu, Lee and Magjuka (2010) identified that online instructors need to design curriculum in such a way as to remove potential barriers including language, communication, plagiarism, time zone differences and lack of multicultural content. Levels of motivation and happiness among online students are significantly lower than levels among students in face-to-face classes (Fish & Snodgrass, 2015). Smith & Ayers (2006) indicated that educators need to plan, design, implement, and access online courses with cultural sensitivity in mind. This presentation showcases best practices in creating an engaging, relevant, and inclusive online course. Based on the principles of John Keller’s (2010) ARCS method of motivational design for learning and performance, ideas for course design that generate and sustain attention, establish and support relevance to the learner, build the confidence of the learner and manage outcomes for satisfaction will be discussed. It will address inclusion in regard to materials, methods and assessments. Participants will leave the session with practical ideas which can be immediately applied to their own courses. The main goal of the session is to encourage new ways for getting students excited about learning in the online environment. Every course design decision has the potential to include or exclude students. Inclusive design emphasizes that when one understands user diversity, he/she can create curriculum which addresses as many students as possible.
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