Anti-Racism and Learning Technology Community of Practice (AR<CoP)
This community of practice, begun in November 2020, emerged from individuals recognising a need for anti-racist practice in learning technology. It aims to raise awareness of this but also to reduce racial inequities by helping all colleagues to be part of creating a better future. Anyone was free to join and from those small beginning the Community now has over 100 members (including members of the University of Edinburgh).
Early on, key themes were decided upon, these being:
- Research Connected Activities,
- Guidance for Content Developers,
- Mentoring & Coaching,
which led to the creation of three subgroups to focus on project work.
The whole Community meets online monthly for presentations from speakers, discussions, and feedback from the subgroups. Subgroups also meet for a combination of synchronous and asynchronous work. Though membership included members of ALT, we have only just become formally associated by becoming an ALT Special Interest Group (SIG).
Though the Community pre-dates the launch of ALT’s Framework for Ethical Learning Technology (FELT), as we have been working we have been well aware it (some of us fed back on it as individuals) and we have aligned the aims and practice of this group to those of FELT in all four sectors: Awareness, Care & Community, Professionalism, and Values.
For example, we:
- Established 5 Community Principles, to create an ethos and sense of belonging for all members, aligning with all four areas, particularly Awareness and Care & Community.
- Strive to be evidence and research-led in our work, aligning with Professionalism.
- Share and disseminate our work, and aim for openness and transparency, aligning with Care & Community and Values.
- Engage in guided discussions around issues of equality and diversity, aligning with Awareness and Professionalism.
Being involved in Communities like this is another way the University of Edinburgh is active in the ethical aspects of learning technology in practice, and influencing practice in the wider community. You can be involved too!
- Find out more about our specific interests through our blog posts (on the ALT website) and conference presentations (e.g. from the ALT Annual Conference 2021 and ALT Winter Conference 2021).
- Help disseminate the presence of the Community and its work with your networks.
- Investigate how this work might influence your own practice.
- Respond to requests for feedback, for instance on the Anti-Racism Toolkit for TEL (deadline for feedback: Feb 16th, 2022).
- Look out for the new resources and activities coming soon (which will include new resources on staff recruitment, a joint webinar with the OER SIG, plus a pledge campaign).