Learning Pod Project: Digital Equity & Perspective

Part 1. Chart

Persona Characteristics Barriers or Challenges Distributed Learning Environments Open Learning Environments
Limited English Proficiency With English as his second language, the persona is not confident in written activities. For this reason, the persona usually fails to comply with writing assignments. In Distributed Learning Environments the teachers encourage their students to develop their language skills through forums. Additionally, Distributed Learning Environments like Moodle has a feature that enables students to do peer editing. With peer editing, students hone their language skills through learning from their classmates. Open Learning Environments like WordPress has various grammar checker plug-ins to choose from. Students can use Grammarly, Ginger, Hemingway, Jetpack, and etc. Some of these grammar checkers are available for free while some are available for paid subscriptions. Open Learning environments also allows peer-editing through the Google Docs plug-in.
Experiences difficulty in finding relevant resources The persona does not have a good background of the characteristics of credible sources so he usually relies on search engines when looking for resource materials. Learning Distributed Environments like Moodle, Canvas, and Blackboard have a Student Resources section where students can search for relevant materials. In addition to this, Learning Distributed Environments like Canvas also contains tools for the purposes of academic integrity. In Open Learning Environments, students are free to explore and look for their own resources. In some cases, teachers recommend free online libraries where students can search for learning materials.

Part 2: Pitch

Technology plays an integral role in education. For instance, digital learning tools, expansion of course offerings and improvement of learning materials became possible because of technology. Consequently, the development in technology increased student engagement. However, the advancement in technology is not the only thing that can help educators improve education. This is because educators are also liable to create a learning environment that can accommodate everyone. In this regard, experts created Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a teaching approach that aims to provide students equal opportunity to succeed (CAST, 2018). Considering the barriers that the persona may encounter while learning and in view of UDL, the group suggests that the persona can learn best in a Learning Distributed Environment compared to an Open Learning Environment.

One of the barriers that our persona may encounter while learning is the inability to comply with the writing activities given by the teacher. With limited knowledge on the English language, it would be better for the persona to be involved in forums where he could chat with his fellow learners to casually practice English. Accordingly, Distributed Learning Environment commonly contains forums. An online forum is a kind of space where one could feel free to ‘hang out,’ experiment, share, and learn from other learners (Heath & Street, 2008 cited in Kral & Schwab, 2012). In addition to forums, Distributed Learning Environments have features which allows peer editing. Some students feel less pressured knowing that their paper will be edited by their peers. For this reason, students will be motivated to submit their work. Forums and peer editing are also possible in Open Learning Environments but because open-source software can be accessible by anyone then, the teacher would find it hard to moderate the forum and the peer editing.

Another barrier that can be addressed by Distributed Learning Environments is the difficulty in finding relevant resources. Our persona heavily relies on the result that appears in the search engine when searching for a reading material for a certain topic. However, since our persona does not have a good background on identifying credible sources, he has the tendency to use a reference material that is outdated or not peer reviewed. In this regard, the persona cannot be in an Open Learning Environment because if one is in that kind of learning environment, he/she needs to find reference materials on his/her own. On the other hand, Distributed Learning Environments have ‘Student Resources’ which provides reliable references. Student Resources are commonly connected with the University Library so that means that the references here are well-curated and relevant.

In conclusion, information shall be presented to learners in such a way that they can understand it. This learning design supports multiple means of engagement because the persona was motivated in various ways such as encouraging him to join forums or participate in editing his friend’s written work. Lastly, this learning design also supports multiple means of representation because the learning design allows the persona to various learning materials they are comfortable with. Lastly, the learning design supports multiple means of action and expression because the persona has the choice to join in forum or peer editing to hone his English language skills.


CAST. (2018, August 31). The UDL guidelineshttps://udlguidelines.cast.org/

Kral, I., & Schwab, R. G. (2012). Learning spaces: Youth, literacy and new media in                remote Indigenous Australia.