The EdTech News for Friday, March 3. 2023: Instructional Design for Equity

EdTech News: The latest in online teaching and learning

In the teaching and learning space, instructional designers adopted the principle of designing for equity and inclusion years ago. The practice combines teaching methods that support equity with culturally responsive learning activities, materials, and assessments to meet learning objectives. The large-scale redesign of curriculum in support of equity is starting to happen.

One example: As part of an effort to close graduation equity gaps, California State University has undertaken its The Critical Course Redesign for Equity and Student Success program.

Faculty work with the university’s Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) and its Center for Academic Success (CAS) to redesign some of the most challenging foundation courses students take in their first semesters. The process involves a syllabus review, faculty workshops, analysis of course-specific equity data, and student survey results.

“We’re looking for alignment between student learning outcomes, activities, and measurable criteria to have change that is transformative,” said Catherine Haras, Executive Director of CETL.

Press release:

Demographics, delaying enrollment until later in life, financing concerns, and new questions about the ROI of a college education are all reasons why colleges and universities are dealing with falling enrollments. The situation has resulted in the closure of many liberal arts colleges across the US and disrupted the education industry. The exception? Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Mark Brown, Executive Director of the Student Freedom Initiative, will speak about the increased interest in HBCUs that continue to be “under-funded and under-appreciated” at the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival starting in Austin, TX, TX Monday. In addition, to live events, there is a full schedule of online sessions.

Press release:

Economically speaking, the growth of the EdTech industry is primarily driven by one factor: the demand for workforce preparation.

A report issued by the National Skills Coalition (NSC) last month indicated that more has to be done to get rapid skilling, up-skilling, and re-skilling opportunities to the general population.

The NSC discovered that while 92% of jobs require digital skills, one-third of workers don’t have the basic digital skills to enter and succeed in those jobs.

Key findings of the report:

Workers in jobs that require just one digital skill can earn an average of 23 percent more than in a job requiring no digital skills.

Increased earnings for workers with digital skills could generate more state and federal tax revenue ranging from $1,363 to $2,879 in additional tax revenue per household per year.

Employee turnover costs businesses about $25,000 when a worker quits within the first year of employment. If an employee leaves after five years, the turnover costs rise to an estimated. The NSA report says those costs can be averted or delayed when workers have access to upskilling opportunities.

The report results emphasize the necessity of closing the digital divide as US states implement the $2.75 billion Digital Equity Act.

“State policymakers are asking a lot of questions about how to most effectively target new federal resources to close the digital divide. With this groundbreaking research, any question about whether digital skills are as important as broadband and devices has now been answered,” said Andy Van Kleunen, National Skills Coalition CEO. “This report drives home that access to digital skill building is essential to advancing equity, opportunity, and economic growth.”

Press release:

Disclosure notice: The EdTech News is compiled and distributed by the Edusity family of companies, an EdTech consortium dedicated to removing barriers to education and ensuring access to job skills. Together, the companies offer a full complement of educational development and consulting services. Companies in the consortium include Edusity, The Babb Group, Professor Services and Cudoo. Compiled from recent press releases, the weekly feature seeks to cover the latest news in EdTech, online education, teaching and learning, instructional design and curriculum development.

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Kate Baggott is Head of Content and Communications for the Edusity family of companies that includes The Babb Group and Professor Services. A digital content veteran, Kate's portfolio can be viewed at
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