Cultural diversity and design

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

In this section we'll refer to two simple case studies (Emilia and Brett) that we introduced in an earlier section on Educational design theory.


Case Study: Emilia

Remember Emilia is designing a new course on Public Health Policy for the Bachelor of Nursing in response to stakeholders in the Health sector. To design a learning experience that is relevant to the nursing students she must consider their diverse cultural needs. Above all, her challenge rests in designing an inclusive learning environment.

For example, some of the learners will already have prior knowledge about public health and familiarity with policies for health whereas others will know nothing about the subject. She knows that some of the students are experienced Registered Nurses wishing to upgrade their qualifications and others are enrolling straight from school. For the latter group, their only experience with the health is often limited to visits to their family doctor, although some may have supported friends and relatives who were ill.

For most of the students, knowledge about the specialist language of public health will be limited, and the biggest challenge for Emilia will be to familiarise her students with the culture of and knowledge about this discipline while respecting their diversity as learners.


Case Study: Brett

Brett has been asked to design new modules for the carpentry programme so that they incorporate tools and techniques that are currently being used in industry. Stakeholders in industry have voiced concern that the students they are employing are not up to date. New activities and formative assessments are needed to help students connect with the 'real world' of carpentry. This is expected to prepare them better for the workforce.

Brett knows that his students do not enjoy 'sitting still' in class, and have an easier time understanding the theoretical subjects when they are directly applied to practical tasks. So he has decided to design a series of videos with a colleague. He plans to demonstrate a tool or technique to construct different parts of a house. For example, wood stud wall framing or a pitched roof. He will explain the tools that are used, talk about how to select, measure and cut the wood, showing the mathematical formulae that should be used and the workings, using a whiteboard. The carpentry workshop is ideal for this as there is plenty of room and the light is good.

He could use the many videos that already exist on the Internet about carpentry tools. He will do this if they are appropriate but often the use imperial measurements or the houses are more specific for the North American environment. He is also aware that his students would like to learn to build houses and structures unique to the country where they may return after their study. For example, the Pacific Islands. Other students are interested in helping their communities and want to understand how a marae is designed, built and maintained. He also has some students wanting to build unusual structures like a straw bale house.