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Measuring effectiveness: In K-12 schools, how do leaders ensure teachers’ instructional practices are supporting diversity in the classroom?

A private school in Jordan has generously approved going through a digital learning design journey. The school leadership team realizes the importance of accommodating a learning environment that serves diverse students and promotes inclusion. However, the leadership team wants to explore ways to ensure their current instructional practices are serving the needs of diverse students, and if not, how can they help teachers do so?

Empathic design centers on the emotions and core needs of users and offers the designer the chance create to compassionate and conscientious digital learning experience. The purpose of my Digital Learning Resource (DLR) is to provide support and examples for teachers to begin to embed diversity and inclusion in their classrooms through content and teaching strategies. Kouprie & Visser (2009) postulate that the empathic approach where the designer relates to the user and understand their situations and why specific experiences are meaningful to them before starting the design is an acknowledged quality of the design process. Therefore, in an attempt to put teachers at the center of the (DLR) design process, I utilized (1) IDEO (2015) practical approach that provides a human-centred design by offering a step-by-step guide to being innovative and creative when designing (2) Brecher Cook and Worsham’s (2018) Empathy Map and mini-manifesto that provides a designer with tools to help them center their design around learners and their goals and develop insight into critical breakthroughs in the learning process.

Designing digital learning resources requires a deliberate shift of focus and should not be seen as a concrete and inflexible approach to design. As I move forward with my DLR design process, I realize the importance of continuously involving stakeholders beyond the empathize and define phase. Kimbell (2012) points out that the design outcomes can be achieved when “stakeholders are co-designers and designers are another kind of stakeholder”(p.143). Therefore, I am looking forward to de-centring my designer role as the main agent intentionally by involving teachers in the ideate, prototype, and test phases.


Brecher Cook, D., & Worsham, D. (2018, April). Let’s Build Something! (The Toolkit). A Rapid-Prototyping Instructional Design Workshop. Retrieved from https://ucla.app.box.com/v/build-something-toolkit

IDEO. (2015). Design Kit – Methods. Retrieved from https://www.designkit.org/methods

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part II. Design and Culture, 4(2), 129-148. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2752/175470812X13281948975413

Kouprie, M., & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2009).  A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’sJournal of Engineering Design20(5), 437-448. DOI:  10.1080/09544820902875033


Photo by Margarida Afonso on Unsplash