Mitigating Hidden Bias in Instructional Design

Conference Archive

DevLearn 2016 Conference & Expo - November 16, 2016

Erin Krebs

Director of Client Solutions

Steve Yacovelli

Director, Inclusion & Change

For instructional designers and facilitators, the challenge is to create learning materials that reach and affect audiences positively and do not elicit feelings of exclusion or discrimination. However, you’re human, and every human has hidden or unconscious biases that impact behaviors and thoughts. This can lead to unintentional missteps in design and delivery. As learning becomes more story-driven, you need to be sensitive to how you present characters, including race, gender, gender identity, and organizational roles.

In this session, using the latest neurological research, you will learn where hidden biases come from. You’ll examine how you can uncover hidden biases within yourself and others, and identify strategies to avoid hidden bias in instructional design and delivery. You’ll look at ways instructional designers and facilitators can continue the mission of inclusivity in their day-to-day work, and you’ll learn what will instill pride in your organization and learners and what will cause them to tune out or reject your learning intervention.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to accurately define the concept of hidden bias with reference to the current literature and research studies
  • How to identify at least two approaches to recognizing hidden bias within yourself and others
  • How to compare at least three examples of learning content or delivery where hidden bias is evident and not evident
  • How to list three ways to mitigate hidden bias in instructional design and delivery

Novice designers, project managers, managers, directors, and senior leaders (VP, CLO, executive, etc.).


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