Hi, everyone. In this brief video, I’m going to give you an overview of our course, not so much an overview of the content, but more an overview of the course structure and some course expectations to give you a sense of what we’ll be doing together and how we’ll be working together during the semester.
So first off, a big welcome to you all again, we are really glad that you’re here and joining us on this journey to learn more about inclusive design and design justice and how to put some of those values into practice.
I’ll start off by talking a little bit about our course structure, the way our course is put together.
We’ve tried to structure the course to provide a fairly stable sequence of activities, sort of a weekly flow of class activities that repeat week to week so that you can in most cases, have an expectation of what we’ll be doing together on any given day.
And so I wanted to quickly give you a look at what that weekly flow of class activities looks like on Mondays, when we have class on Mondays, and on Wednesdays. Those days will primarily be dedicated to digging into readings and viewings via discussion and other activities.
On Tuesdays, we are going to use that class time for what we’re calling design jams. And these are opportunities that we will be creating for you to have some hands-on practice with different inclusive design approaches and strategies, because you will be asked to use some of these strategies in creating your class project for this term.
So Tuesdays will be an opportunity to get some exposure to and some experience with some of these inclusive design practices.
Thursdays will be a day for getting together with a small group of your peers and talking through your project, your process, and how that’s going. And there will also be an additional activity that we’re calling the Thursday participation assignment that will be due that day as well.
I’m going to talk a little bit more about Thursdays because they’re going to look a little different. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, at the moment, we can plan to meet in person in our classroom. Thursdays will be a day that is a little bit more on your own.
So we’re calling it sort of Thursday Choice Day. On Thursdays, we will not be meeting together in Axinn, although both of us will be available on Zoom during our regularly scheduled class time. You can drop into that Zoom room to ask any questions you might have about about your project or about other questions you have about the class.
But on Thursdays, we’re going to expect you all, though not meeting in Axinn, to complete two activities.
One is project workshopping. So this is an opportunity to share your project ideas, your project proposal in the early stages of the semester, later on to bounce around some of your ideas for inclusive design strategies that you’ll be using, etc. To do that in some self-organized groups.
So you might find one or two or more classmates and decide you can organize yourselves however you would like. You can meet in person, you can meet on Zoom, so we’ll leave that up to you. But that’s something that you should plan to do and organize for yourselves on Thursdays.
The second activity that we’re going to expect you to complete on Thursdays is what we’re calling a participation assignment. And here we’re giving you the choice to do one of these three things to either continue to have a conversation in the reading annotation, and that’s another activity that we will introduce you to early in the semester.
You can dig into a dig deeper resource. Those are resources that are on the website that help you learn a little bit more about topics that we are going to be introduced to.
Or you can contribute to the Exclusionary Design Wall of Shame exercise, which we will also introduce early in the semester.
And so this is an opportunity for you to choose how you want to participate in class on Thursdays. If you have another idea for a participation assignment, please let us know, run it by us, and we we can see whether that might be something that we can add to the menu.
So in addition to a sort of weekly flow of activities in terms of how we will be spending our class time, we’ve also created a weekly flow of assignment deadlines.
And again, on Mondays and Wednesdays, the things that you’ll primarily have due will be readings and reading annotation.
On Thursdays, you’ll have due the participation assignment that I just described.
And on Fridays, you’ll be expected to turn in any individual assignments that have been assigned for that week. This will often be a reflection journal, and sometimes it will additionally be project work as well.
You can find all of the information about specific deadlines on our class website, as well as detailed descriptions of all of these assignments on our class website as well.
So that’s a segue way into our second topic, which is Course Technologies. We will be using a few technologies together this semester to support our learning and our collaboration.
The first is that we have created a course web site for you all as a home base for this semester. And the website contains general information about the course, so you’ll find a detailed syllabus.
You’ll find a page for each week of the semester with some detailed information about what will be covering that week, what’s due that week and links to assignments. You’ll find information about detailed information about the assignments themselves.
You’ll also find some course materials, including some readings, videos that will create links to other videos and additional resources to support your learning throughout the semester.
So we’ll be using the course website as a support for our learning this semester pretty heavily.
We’ll also be using Microsoft Teams, you should have received a an invitation to Teams. And we’ll be using Microsoft Teams as a space for community and communication.
If you haven’t used Teams before, it’s a bit like Slack if that’s something you’re familiar with. So it has a built in sort of just different discussion areas that you can create. It also has real time chat. It has the ability to do video calls as well.
So we’ll be using the Teams space to post class announcements. We’ll be using the Teams space for Q&A. So if you have any questions about the class at all, we’re going to ask you to go to Teams and share it in the Q&A discussion area.
This will also be the place where you’re going to turn in assignments.
So you might be getting the drift so far that we are not using Canvas this, in, for this class. Instead, we’re using Teams for some of the functions that Canvas typically fulfills, and the class website for other functions that that Canvas typically fulfills.
So you will be turning in your assignments in Teams.
We have also posted some example projects from previous iterations of this class that projects that students completed for for you to take a look at, and there’s a class cafe area to share as sort of, you know, non course related information.
Finally, we will be using some other technologies to support our learning. Hypothesis is the technology that is a, allows for social annotation of online texts. So this is a place this is a tool that lets you have a conversation right in the margins of your texts and will be we’ll be showing you how to do that.
Padlet we’ll also be using as a collaborative space for the exclusionary design wall of Shame activity, and we’ll be introducing these to you early in the semester as well.
So finally, just to touch briefly on course expectations, and we will spend some time in our first days of class together co-constructing some of these expectations, but we did want to share with you just some some initial thoughts.
We really believe in in learning in community with one another and that we, as your instructors are part of that learning community, so you can certainly expect things from us this semester.
You can expect us to be respectful of of others perspectives, to communicate with you in a timely manner, to try to be clear in our expectations, to facilitate discussion, and to help you clarify your concepts related to inclusive design and design justice.
Of course, you know, being in community means that we all have a role to play and we have some expectations for what that looks like for you as well.
We expect you to care about your learning, to carefully and thoughtfully engage in class activities, to be respectful of others’ perspectives, to complete assignments in a timely manner, and to communicate with your instructors in a timely manner.
That last one is super important, always, but especially in a class during a pandemic, it’s really important that you communicate with us if anything comes up so that we can have a conversation about it.
And so, you know again, that that leads into a point that we wanted to make sure to raise, is that acknowledging the uncertainty of the fact that we are still living and learning in a pandemic, as much as we wish we weren’t.
And so we believe that we all still need some grace. We all have a lot going on.
And so we will expect you to aim to meet the course deadlines that are laid out in the syllabus in the class website. But if you do need flexibility or support again, please reach out to us as soon as you can so that we can have that conversation.
We we at the same time have tried to design the class to have some flexibility built in, some choice in terms of how you participate, some choice in terms of assignments.
And so and in creating this class website, as well as the Teams space, we are also building in some structures in case we do need to make changes to the modality of the class, for example.
So we have tried to also build some of this flexibility into our design, and we believe that is a component of of inclusive design of of learning environments.
So keeping all that in mind, if you have questions and you want to get in touch, there are a few different ways you can do that.
We absolutely, particularly if your question has to do with the course or class materials, to start with the Teams Q&A channel because again, if you have the question, probably your classmates do as well. And that’s a space where we can all see the question and the answer.
If you have personal questions or questions that aren’t meant to be shared with your classmates, certainly feel free to email us or to use the Teams chat function, which is a private chat.
You can also check out the resources section of the website, the course website, which has a lot of additional support information that might be useful to you as well on your journey.
So again, we’re very much looking forward to to this semester with you, and we look forward to getting started.