Discussing a Concept for an Online Learning Platform with Rural Sixth-Grade Students in Mind: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Designers, Teachers, and Policy Change
Rojas Alfaro, Roberto Enrique
Montenegro Sánchez, Ana Marcela
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This study is a branch of a larger research project on the design process of FUNREAD, an online learning platform, co-designed with English language teachers (ELTs), that promotes linguistic and sociocultural learning among sixth-grade English language learners (ELLs) from rural communities in Costa Rica. This paper sheds light on the necessity of human-centered design (HCD) when creating teaching materials for online learning platforms. HCD—an approach where “human values are primary and should guide the world that people collectively create (Zachry & Spyridakis, 2016, p. 394)—is central to this study. Through that lens, we analyze participants’ insights and suggestions for improving an existing concept in priority areas (e.g., equity, representation, and language learning). Equally, contextualizing teaching materials and available technologies to match the demographic characteristics of school children is indispensable for success. Specifically, rurality plays a major role in how teaching, materials development, and curricular decisions should be made.
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