Designing Inclusive Learning Environments

Large-scale online learning environments present new opportunities to address the need for greater inclusivity in education. Unlike residential environments, which have physical and logistic constraints (e.g., classroom configurations, sizes, and scheduling) that impede our ability to enact more inclusive pedagogy, online learning environments can be personalized and adapted to individual learner needs. As these environments are completely technology mediated, they offer an almost infinite design space for innovation. Social-scientific research on inclusivity in residential settings provides insight into how we might design for online learning environments, however evidence of efficacious digital implementations of these insights is limited. This workshop aims to advance our understanding of the ways in which adaptivity can be leveraged to buttress inclusivity in STEM learning. Through brief paper presentations and collaborative activities we intend to outline design opportunities in the scaled learning space for creating more inclusive environments.

Call for Participation

Scaled learning environments have the potential to impact diverse sets of learners, crossing geographical, cultural, social, gender, and disciplinary boundaries, among others. But how do we design for such a broad set of learners? This half-day workshop will bring together a diverse set of people to explore answers to this question through individual reflections and active design. Participants should apply to the workshop by submitting a one-page statement of interest in which they articulate their own experiences with designing inclusive learning environments. They are invited to report on the findings of research studies they have conducted or observations of participation or achievement gaps and speculations about why they occurred. Submission can be made on the workshop website until April 15, 2020. Participants should expect to review 2-3 readings provided by the organizers, as well as statements of interest from other participants, before the workshop on May 27, 2020.


  • Christopher Brooks, University of Michigan
  • RenĂ© F. Kizilcec, Cornell University
  • Nia Dowell, University of California Irvine


To register for this workshop, please select this workshop when registering for Learning @ Scale 2020.