Asked and Answered?: Rethinking Class Questions…and Other Examples of Asynchronous Instructional Design as Social Justice in a (Post-) Covid World

Jennifer Gipson, PhD, Assistant Professor of French and Folklore affiliate, University of Wisconsin-Madison

3:30 pm central time, Monday, October 26

Session recording HERE


Inclusive practices mean recognizing our own positionality, power, and paradigms in all aspects of our teaching.  We don’t just teach content; we model civic responsibility, equity and inclusion, and thinking about how technology impacts society, human interactions, and social justice.  Within this, I focus on the topic of questions–those we ask students, those students ask us, are scared to ask, or might be excluded from asking each other–and how to make the act of asking and the dissemination of information equitable and inclusive for students and less time-consuming for instructors with overflowing inboxes.  I treat content or course-related questions that come up in any class while also looking at how discussions, especially in more advanced classes can be made more inclusive of a diversity of student perspectives through deliberate design.  While I propose strategies meant to meet the “remote” moment, I also suggest pedagogical affordances that compliment any modality. The learning table will be guided by the following questions: 

  • What do we mean by positionality, power, and paradigms in the context of inclusive teaching practices?
  • How do language instructors go about rethinking questions about the class and class content?
  • How could rethinking questions make online discussions more inclusive?
  • What is the language instructors’ role in the inclusive class design?
  • What are some special considerations for foreign language learners?

About the discussant: Dr. Jennifer Gipson (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley) is Assistant Professor of French and Folklore affiliate at UW Madison.  Her research interests include literature and folklore in nineteenth-century France, French in the United States, Global Black Studies, especially Creoles of Color in New Orleans and abroad.  She is a frequent presenter for online/blended instructional design topics, especially regarding accessibility and inclusion.  She has been a guest instructor for the UW’s TeachOnline@UW program, a speaker at national and international ed tech conferences, and holds microcredentials from Quality Matters and the Online Learning Consortium.  As the recipient of an Educational Innovation Small Grant, she studied the affordances of annotation technology for teaching close reading online.  She is also passionate about studying and developing best practices to leverage the affordances of synchronous and asynchronous technologies for delivering ethnic studies courses and courses dealing with race in digital environments.  She is currently a consultant for the UW Madison Division of Diversity Equity, and Educational Achievement for online best practices and student success.

Delivery format: Zoom meeting

Contact: Jana Martin, Associate Director, Language Institute. Email Jana for access to a recording of the session.

If you need accommodations to participate in this event, contact Adolfo Carrillo Cabello at least three business days prior to the event.

Sponsors: University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Language Media Center; University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) Language Resource Center; University of Minnesota, College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Language Center; Michigan State University, Center for Language Teaching Advancement; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Language Institute