[feat-img-left] An inclusive learning environment is one in which every learner feels welcome, able to access and engage with course materials, and safe to express personal viewpoints. Because eLearning creates the possibility of a global classroom, with students representing many different cultures and backgrounds within a single course, inclusivity becomes both a necessity and an interesting challenge for online instructors. How can you facilitate a learning environment in which all voices are both able to be expressed and heard? How can the teaching materials accommodate everyone? One comprehensive paper, “An Inclusive Approach to Online Learning Environments,” outlined several key instructional design models for culturally inclusive learning, including:
- The Multidimensional Model of Collis, Vingerhoets and Moonen, which goes beyond course content and considers the multiple variables within a learning environment that express culturally specific values (such as the selection of the LMS, the language(s) used in the course, and the social organization of the course),
- Seufert’s Cubic Model, which proposes a three-dimensional model of considerations, including the flexibility and variety of technology, the simplicity in the choice of tools, and an awareness of multicultural context and cultural differences, and
- Henderson’s Multiple Cultures Model, which recognizes the influence of academic culture, the dominant culture, and the minority culture of the teaching and learning environment.