Sharing What Works

March 16 – 18, 2016 Orlando, FL

Register Now Includes:

LS305 Mitigating Hidden Bias in Instructional Design

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Wednesday, March 16

Instructional Design


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 our 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, and directors.

Technology discussed in this session:

Steve Yacovelli

Director, Inclusion & Change


Steve Yacovelli, the director of inclusion and change for SweetRush, focuses on helping clients embrace and adapt to using new and innovative ways to work with their employees. Steve has worked with such great organizations as The Walt Disney Company, IBM, Tupperware Brands, George Washington University, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Bellsouth-AT&T. A published author, Steve holds a BS degree in public relations, an MA degree in educational policy and leadership development, and an EdD degree in instructional technology and distance education.

Shauna Vaughan

Digital Design Senior Manager


Shauna Vaughan has nearly two decades of experience as an instructional designer and performance consultant. She typically works on challenging, large-scale learning solutions with complex business and learning requirements and a variety of tools and technology, such as learning ecosystems, gamification and game- based learning, and mobile. Shauna is dynamic, always ready with an idea or three, which are backed by her master's degree in instructional design, research in storytelling, and her wealth of experience in instructional design. Her background is multi-faceted, with experience designing learning solutions for clients in a variety of industries, including several Fortune 500 companies.

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