Annotated Bibliography – Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Academic Technology

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Academic Technology
Annotated Bibliography

Compiled from Multiple Sources
June 2021


Ahmed, M. M. H., & Indurkhya, B. (2020). Investigating cognitive holding power and equity in the flipped classroom. Heliyon, 6(8), e04672.

In recent years, the flipped classroom has been proposed as an alternative paradigm of teaching, and has been demonstrated to improve the students’ knowledge and skills, engagement, and self-efficacy. At the same time, as the number of students seeking higher education is growing and the needs of these students are rapidly evolving, it has become necessary to improve their cognitive holding power and enhance equity among them. The goal of this study is to investigate the impact of the flipped classroom on improving the students’ cognitive holding power and enhancing equity.

For this study, the flipped classroom was implemented for teaching undergraduate university students’ course “An Introduction to Instructional Technology”. In the class, whiteboard and Smartboard were used to discuss and clarify ambiguous ideas related to the topic and to present the model answers for the tasks. Outside the class, video files and Google applications (Word, PPT, Drive) were used for delivering learning materials. WhatsApp was used for communication and Google form was used for designing learning activities and assessment. The results of the study indicate: (1) to some extent flipped classroom can be a solution for improving students’ cognitive holding power, especially in performing learning tasks and following teacher’ instructions. (2) Equity among the students can be enhanced in the flipped classroom. These findings have implications for using the flipped classroom in managing the diversity of university students through enhancing equity among them and improving their abilities.


Crea, T.M., Sparnon, N. (2017). Democratizing education at the margins: faculty and practitioner perspectives on delivering online tertiary education for refugees. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 14, 43.

Online distance learning is rapidly becoming a mainstay in higher education. Yet, there still exists unequal access to internet technology among the world’s most vulnerable populations. This article reviews the implementation of an online pilot program that provided tertiary education to refugees in Africa and the Middle East, using a unique blend of brick-and-mortar and virtual instruction. Faculty experiences mirrored much of the experiences of instructors in more traditional online education – while onsite staff provided a unique perspective on the embedded nature of the program, based in local contexts. The results of this study helped point the way towards important program modifications to increase the quality of faculty communication and the cultural relevance of the curriculum. Future research is needed to identify whether such programs lead to improved outcomes for refugees.


Holeton, R. (2020, February). Toward inclusive learning spaces: Physiological, cognitive, and cultural inclusion and the learning space rating system. EDUCAUSE – Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. (

Inclusive learning space design should be based on a tripartite framework addressing the diverse physiological, cognitive, and cultural needs of learners.


Johnson, J.B., Reddy, P., Chand, R. et al. (2021) Attitudes and awareness of regional Pacific Island students towards e-learning. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 18, 13.

The rise of online modes of content delivery, termed e-learning, has increased student convenience and provided geographically remote students with more options for tertiary education. However, its efficacy relies upon student access to suitable technology and the internet, and the quality of the online course material. With the COVID-19 outbreak, education providers worldwide were forced to turn to e-learning to retain their student base and allow them to continue learning through the pandemic. However, in geographically remote, developing nations, many students may not have access to suitable technology or internet connections. Hence it is important to understand the potential of e-learning to maintain equitable access to education in such situations. This study found the majority (88%) of commencing students at the University of the South Pacific owned at least one ICT device and had access to the internet. Similarly, most students had adequate to strong ICT skills and a positive attitude toward e-learning. These attitudes among the student cohort, in conjunction with the previous experience of The University of the South Pacific in distance education, are likely to have contributed to its relatively successful transition from face-to-face to online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Kintu, M.J., Zhu, C. & Kagambe, E. (2017). Blended learning effectiveness: the relationship between student characteristics, design features and outcomes. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 14, 7.

This paper investigates the effectiveness of a blended learning environment through analyzing the relationship between student characteristics/background, design features and learning outcomes. It is aimed at determining the significant predictors of blended learning effectiveness taking student characteristics/background and design features as independent variables and learning outcomes as dependent variables. A survey was administered to 238 respondents to gather data on student characteristics/background, design features and learning outcomes. The final semester evaluation results were used as a measure for performance as an outcome. We applied the online self regulatory learning questionnaire for data on learner self regulation, the intrinsic motivation inventory for data on intrinsic motivation and other self-developed instruments for measuring the other constructs. Multiple regression analysis results showed that blended learning design features (technology quality, online tools and face-to-face support) and student characteristics (attitudes and self-regulation) predicted student satisfaction as an outcome. The results indicate that some of the student characteristics/backgrounds and design features are significant predictors for student learning outcomes in blended learning.


Littenberg-Tobias, J., & Reich, J. (2020). Evaluating access, quality, and equity in online learning: A case study of a MOOC-based blended professional degree program. The Internet and Higher Education, 47, 100759.

As massive open online courses (MOOCs) shift toward professional degree and certificate programs, can they become a global on-ramp for increasing access to emerging fields for underrepresented groups? This mixed-methods study addresses this question by examining one of the first MOOC-based blended professional degree programs, which admitted students to an accelerated residential master’s program on the basis of performance in MOOCs and a proctored exam. We found that male students and students with master’s degrees were more likely to complete the online program and the blended program had more male students and more students with master’s degrees than students in the existing residential program. Students who enrolled in the blended graduate program earned higher average grades than students in the residential program earned in their in-person courses (3.86 vs 3.75, p < .01). The findings of this study provide an example of how new online learning models can serve particular niches, but may not address broader equity challenges.


Yu, Z. (2021). The effects of gender, educational level, and personality on online learning outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 18, 14.

With the rampant pandemic of COVID-19, an increasing number of people are acquiring knowledge through online learning approaches. This study aims to investigate how to improve online learning effectiveness during this special time. Through a mixed design, this study revealed the effect of educational levels, gender, and personality traits on online learning outcomes. It was concluded that postgraduates (N = 599) outperformed undergraduates (N = 553) in online learning, learners (N = 1152) with strong personality traits such as agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to a new experience outperformed those with strong extraversion and neuroticism. Future research could improve interpersonal interactions and encourage learners to post words in the online discussion forum, focus on how to design scaffolding online learning and how to improve the quality and dynamic of the online contents, and highlight blended learning rather than either merely online or traditional face-to-face learning.



Arendale. D. R. (2018). Introduction to special issue on universal design for inclusive pedagogy and a future research agenda. Education Sciences 8, no. 4.

This Special Issue seeks to address the needs of all postsecondary/tertiary students for a barrier-free learning environment to increase their academic achievement, engagement, learning mastery, and persistence to graduation. Universal Design for Inclusive Pedagogy (UDIP) is sensitive to diverse students and individual differences to promote access and equity. While our colleagues in elementary and secondary education have been addressing this issue for many years, postsecondary education is a newer field for this approach. The six articles in this issue break new ground with regards to expanding the boundaries of Universal Design (UD). Areas explored in this Special Issue are transformed curriculum, innovative teaching and learning practices, cross-national and cross-cultural student interactions, application of UD to academic pathways, and UDIP embedded into the institutional culture and policies. The central themes of the articles are increased access, equity, and social justice for all students.


Blayone, T. J. B., vanOostveen, R., Barber, W., DiGiuseppe, M., and Childs, E. ( 2017). Democratizing digital learning: Theorizing the fully online learning community model. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 14, no. 1: 1–16.

The integration of digital technologies at institutions of higher education are profoundly influencing formal learning on a global scale. Social-constructivist models of fully online learning are well-positioned to address the demands of government, and economic and social-development organizations for civically-engaged individuals with strong problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaboration competencies. With an established record of performance at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Canada, the Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC) is one such model. This paper theorizes FOLC as a response to several problematics, including (a) the aforementioned demand for greater educational focus on higher-order competency development, (b) the deficiencies of distance education and MOOCs as learning models, and (c) a quest for new learning models that strengthen deliberation skills and deepen democratic experience. As a divergent fork of the Community of Inquiry model, FOLC describes collaborative learning as a symbiosis of social and cognitive interactions amplified through effective use of synchronous and asynchronous digital affordances. Furthermore, it models democratized learning communities that reduce transactional distance between learners and educators, incorporates authentic assessment, and encourages negotiated technology affordances and cognitive outcomes while distributing responsibility for constructive criticality. Having positioned FOLC conceptually, and addressed current limitations, a research agenda for extending its empirical foundations, and leveraging UOIT’s EILAB affordances, is presented. The underlying argument is that self-regulating and transformative learning communities can be established and sustained in fully online environments, and that such communities (a) produce a diversity of beneficial learning outcomes, and (b) deepen the democratic functioning of learners and their social contexts.


Sullivan, F. R. (2020). Critical pedagogy and teacher professional development for online and blended learning: The equity imperative in the shift to digital. Educational Technology Research and Development: A Bi-Monthly Publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology 69, no. 1 pp: 21–24.

This paper provides a response to the work of Philipsen et al. (Educ Technol Res Dev 67:1145–1174, Philipsen et al., Educational Technology, Research and Development 67:1145–1174, 2019), from a critical pedagogy perspective. Here, critical pedagogy is defined from a post-colonial framework focused on liberation. From this perspective, the value of Philipsen et al.’s paper is in its implicit alignment with critical methodologies, including how liberatory ideas are embedded in the TPD for OBL framework. In a response to Philipsen et al.’s work, this paper provides advice on practical actions teachers can take to develop their ability to engage in critical pedagogy, both from the TPD for OBL lens and from an equity lens. This paper concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the meta-aggregative review, including the lack of an explicitly critical framework, and it provides suggestions for how the work could be improved, especially as regards a discussion of equity for teachers and students. Future research in this area should focus on methods for disrupting educational inequity regarding online and blended learning.


Voithofer, R. & Foley, A. (2007, January). Digital Dissonances: Structuring absences in national discourses on equity and educational technologies. Equity & Excellence in Education, 40:1, p14-25.

This study traces discursive formations surrounding educational technology, equity, and inclusion that have emerged or have been amplified through national policies and initiatives in the U.S., including the Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) research grant program, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Ed Tech state funding program, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the 2005 National Educational Technology Plan. Using critical discourse analysis and symptomatic readings, we examine language embedded in national initiatives in relation to educational technology to explore how these policies and initiatives address technology equity. Our analysis underscores the ongoing tendency of national discourses about educational technology to support universal and undifferentiated approaches to educational technology integration. In contrast to these national perspectives we advocate for sustaining interventions that promote contextual definitions of success and achievement rooted in the values, discourses, and resources of community and consider the redistribution of resources in ways that accommodate the complex historical and cultural factors that come into play when defining and addressing equity.


Xiao, J. (2021). From Equality to Equity to Justice: Should Online Education Be the New Normal in Education?. In Bozkurt, A. (Ed) Handbook of Research on Emerging Pedagogies for the Future of Education: Trauma-Informed, Care, and Pandemic Pedagogy. Hershey, PA: IGI Global (pp. 1-15).

Due to its role in addressing school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency online education (EoE) is politicized and assumed to be the new normal in the post-crisis age. This chapter aims to answer the following questions: Should online education be the new normal for all, and if not, what should it be like? After briefly introducing how the world ensures educational continuity and distinguishing EoE from conventional online education, it examines education in the discourse of sustainable development goals, EoE from an equality-equity-justice perspective, and lessons learnt from EoE. It is argued that instead of OE, the new normal for all should be a package of solutions able to cater for learners of various types, minimizing inequality and inequity to allow as many people as possible to access quality education and hence enhance educational equity and justice. Issues related to the new normal are then discussed. The chapter concludes by calling on educational stakeholders to use this crisis as an opportunity to think about how to fix our already ailing educational system.




Bali, M., Caines, A. (2018). A call for promoting ownership, equity, and agency in faculty development via connected learning. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 15, 46.

For transformation to occur in learning environments and for learners, higher education must first consider how such transformation will occur for the designers and facilitators of learning experiences: the university teachers or educators we call faculty (in the US), instructors, lecturers or professors or, in some instances, university staff. For the purpose of this article, we will refer to them as educators or faculty, and the process of their professional development as educational development or faculty development (more historically common in the US context). We aspire towards universities in the future that cultivate connected, participatory educational development that crosses institutional and national boundaries, and which takes equity, social justice and power differences into consideration, promoting educator agency. We propose theoretical underpinnings of our approach, while also highlighting some examples of recent practice that inspire this direction, but which are small in scale, and can provide springboards for future approaches that may be applied on a wider scale and become more fully integrated, supported and rewarded in institutions. Our theoretical underpinnings are influenced by theories of heutagogy and self-determined learning, transformative learning, connectivist and connected learning, and an interest in equity.

We share models of alternative approaches to educator development that take advantage of the latest advances in technology, such as #DigPINS, Virtually Connecting, collaborative annotation, and dual-pathway MOOCs. We then share a semi-fictional authoethnography of our (the authors’) daily connected lives, and we end by highlighting elements of the models we shared that we feel could be adapted by institutions to achieve educator professional development that is more transformative, participatory, and equitable.


Burrell-Storms, S. L., Donovan, S. K., & Williams, T. P., (2020). Teaching through challenges for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Colleges and universities cannot ignore the increasingly diverse student population in their classrooms, and how a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion across disciplines trains students in the intercultural awareness they will need in competitive job markets. Yet while faculty may be aware of a need to understand EDI goals in relationship to their disciplines, and institutions may support EDI in theory, the onus of pedagogical training in EDI often falls on individual faculty. This book was written by faculty and administrators for educators who value the goals of EDI, and seek an intellectual community to help them develop their practice. Important to this book is an honest discussion of common challenges faculty may face when they engage in this difficult work, and effective strategies for addressing those challenges. The chapters are grouped according to six different themes: respect for divergent learning styles; inclusion and exclusion; technology and social action; affective considerations; reflection for critical consciousness; and safe spaces and resistance.


Dunn, S. & Pinkoson, C. (2020, March). Instructional development for everyone: Five (fairly) easy steps to amplify impact and inclusivity. EDUCAUSE Teaching & Learning. (

Faculty responsibilities are increasing, and teaching methods are changing. Faculty development needs to evolve to ensure that instructors can access and benefit from the support they need, when they need it.


Harris, B.N., et al (2020). From panic to pedagogy: Using online active learning to promote inclusive instruction in ecology and evolutionary biology courses and beyond. Ecology and Evolution 10, no. 22: 12581–612.

The rapid shift to online teaching in spring 2020 meant most of us were teaching in panic mode. As we move forward with course planning for fall and beyond, we can invest more time and energy into improving the online experience for our students. We advocate that instructors use inclusive teaching practices, specifically through active learning, in their online classes. Incorporating pedagogical practices that work to maximize active and inclusive teaching concepts will be beneficial for all students, and especially those from minoritized or underserved groups. Like many STEM fields, Ecology and Evolution shows achievement gaps and faces a leaky pipeline issue for students from groups traditionally underserved in science. Making online classes both active and inclusive will aid student learning and will also help students feel more connected to their learning, their peers, and their campus. This approach will likely help with performance, retention, and persistence of students. In this paper, we offer broadly applicable strategies and techniques that weave together active and inclusive teaching practices. We challenge instructors to commit to making small changes as a first step to more inclusive teaching in ecology and evolutionary biology courses.


Quintero, J., Baldiris, S., Rubira, R., Cerón, J., & Velez, G. (2019). Augmented reality in educational inclusion. A systematic review on the last decade. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1835.

The use of Augmented Reality (AR) to achieve educational inclusion has been not deeply explored. This systematic review describes the current state of using AR as an educational technology that takes into consideration the needs of all students including those with a disability. It is done through the analysis of factors, such as the advantages of AR, its limitations, uses, challenges, its scope in the educational field, the attended population and the positive or negative effects of its use in learning scenarios that involve students with diverse educational needs. A total of 50 studies between 2008 and 2018 were analyzed through searching in three interdisciplinary databases: Scopus, Web of Science, and Springer link. For this, the methodological stages considered were planning the review, search, analysis of literature and results report. After analyzing the results, it was possible to demonstrate that the use of AR for inclusive education in the field of sciences is where more studies have been conducted. In regard to the population with disabilities, among the most representative advantages reported were the motivation, interaction and generating interest on the part of the student. At the same time, an important methodological limitation identified was the size of the sample; some investigations were done with two or three subjects, some studies Single Subject Designs were found. In terms of the population attended, the studies generally included students with different impairments (hearing, visual, motor or cognitive), minorities (ethnic, vulnerable), leaving aside other groups excluded as exceptional talents and immigrants, which could be explored in the future. Despite different problems to be addressed, few frameworks to the diversity attention in education were reported, and there was no model and methodology in inclusive education considered in the studies. Finally, from this review we have identified open issues that could give rise to new research in the subject of using AR to favor the creation of inclusive learning scenarios.


Zhang, F., Kaufman, D., Schell, R. et al. (2017). Situated learning through intergenerational play between older adults and undergraduates. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 14, 16

This study is grounded in a social-cultural framework that embeds learning in social activities, mediated by cultural tools and occurring through guided participation in the social practice of a particular community. It uses conversation analysis as a tool to examine the structures of the talk-in-interaction of naturally occurring conversations between 11 pairs of older adult (aged between 65 and 92) and undergraduates (aged between 18 and 25) during a 6-week social practice of intergenerational digital gameplay. The purpose is to demonstrate how older adults adapt to and make sense of collaborative gaming activities through guided participation. The features of minimum gap and overlap, even conversational inputs, and orientation to one another’s turns indicate interactional connection between older adults and younger people. Adjacency pairs in the form of question-answer and self-initiated other-repairs are the situated use of social resources afforded by the intergenerational interaction. It is through these two main means of interaction that younger players offer immediate feedback and explanation to guide older adults to engage in the collaborative play and develop understanding of unfolding concepts and phenomena.



Caruso, S. (2014). Creating digital communities: A resource to digital inclusion. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies. Not all members of a community benefit equally, and some communities have been left out altogether. This book is a resource for fostering digital inclusion throughout the United States so that everyone can take advantage of digital technologies. The framework is structured around a vision for the future, principles that define digital inclusion, goals to make digital inclusion a reality, and sample strategies for achieving these goals.


Leigh, P. R. (2011). International exploration of technology equity and the digital divide: Critical, historical and social perspectives. Hershey, Pa.: IGI Global

Education in the Eastern Caribbean has been heavily influenced by the colonial history of the sub-region. In recent years though, in recognition of the fact that the traditional approaches to teaching and learning are no longer meeting the needs of present-day students, there have been calls for change to more student-friendly ones, with electronic technology playing a significant role. However, the resistance to certain types of devices in the classroom has contributed to the slow uptake of widespread use of electronic technology and the online environment as a mode for teaching and learning. The closure of schools due to the advent of COVID-19 pandemic forced education systems in the region to turn to the online environment to engage students in educational activities. Students, teachers and other education officials had to face their apprehensions and venture into this space for schooling. This paper describes actions taken by the Eastern Caribbean Joint Board of Teacher Education to help teachers cope with this different learning environment, guided by the concepts of teacher readiness, equity relating to access of resources and providing caring support for all affected.


McLaughlin, R. & Resta, P.E. (2020, October). On Systemic Digital Equity, Systemic Inclusion, and the Teacher Librarian in the Pandemic Era, Part I. Teacher Librarian. 48:1, p 8-14.

The writing of this two-part series began at the end of the year before COVID-19. The intent was to explain the magnitude and importance of the “homework gap”—the lack of equitable student access at home to broadband, a computer and home access, as well as tech support, librarian support, and well-curated hidden web learning resources. But, after COVID19 took hold and schools were forced to close and move to remote, online learning, the magnitude of the problem became apparent. Now the focus shifts to solutions.


McLaughlin, R. & Resta, P.E. (2020, December). On Systemic Digital Equity, Systemic Inclusion, and the Teacher Librarian in the Pandemic Era, Part II. Teacher Librarian. 48:2, p8-13.

In the first part of this two-part series, we explored digital divide challenges, both longstanding and those intensified by the pandemic.


Myana, E., (2020, March). Technology empowerment in a joint-use academic and public library: The myth of the so-called digital natives persists for traditionally aged college students. Computers in Libraries. V 40 n 2, p16.

Especially in academic environments, we sometimes have trouble remembering that not everyone has the same access to technology. At universities, staffers and faculty members often assume that all students are Digital Natives and are comfortable with all technology. This assumption can be detrimental to many. Libraries, academic institutions, government organizations, and nonprofits are working to tackle the digital divide that exists even among those born into a digital world, and new partnerships are emerging to develop creative strategies for accessing and confronting the real technological inequalities.


Quaintance, Z. (2018, March). The quest for digital equity: A look at the evolution of the challenge to ensure advances in technology bring benefits to everyone. Government Technology. 31:2, p30-34.

The article focuses on the digital equity of people, which is also known as digital inclusion for the success of a community. Topics discussed include capabilities of technology which includes internet connectivity and mobile phones, challenges such as lack of infrastructure in rural areas and lack of speed in service, and role of state and local governments for spreading awareness and social aspects.


Soomro, K. A., et. al. (2020). Digital divide among higher education faculty. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. 17:1, p1-16.

Digital divide centers on access to various dimensions of information and communication technology (ICT) including physical access, motivation, skills, and actual usage of digital technologies. This divide tends to be even wider in the context of developing countries. Yet, there is a lack of literature on the digital divide among the faculty who teach in higher education settings. Thus, as a preliminary effort, by using a 57-item Faculty’s ICT Access (FICTA) scale, we investigated the digital inequalities (at the physical, motivational, skills, and usage levels) among Pakistani faculty in respect of their personal and positional categories. We also examined the relationship between faculty’s instructional usage of ICT and other dimensions of their ICT access. The findings revealed that there were significant differences in the faculty’s access to technology at the four levels in respect of their personal and positional categories. Further, the findings of the study shed light on the theoretical implications of the framework of successive kinds of ICT access suggested by van Dijk (The deepening divide: inequality in the information society, 2005).




Garcia, A., & Lee, C. H. (2020). Equity-Centered Approaches to Educational Technology. In Spector, J.M., Merrill, M.D., Elen, J., & Bishop, M.J. (Eds.) Handbook of Research in Educational Communications and Technology, New York: Springer. 247-261.

This chapter reviews the perspectives and scholarship that address educational equity through the application of technology and digital tools. We first explore how equity is framed in global discourse and the role that educational technology has played in both addressing and perpetuating disparities in achievement. Policymakers, designers, and researchers have routinely attempted to use digital technologies to address the learning needs of historically marginalized populations. Before we examine these technological interventions in context, we must first explore the root causes of what “counts” as an achievement gap as well as what “counts” as technology.


Lázaro Cantabrana, J.L., Estebanell Minguell, M. & Tedesco, J.C. (2015). Inclusion and Social Cohesion in a Digital Society. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 12, 44–58.

The information and knowledge society demands an increasing digital literacy of its citizens. Education, in formal and informal settings, has a significant role to play in trying to promote inclusion and social inclusion, as it helps to develop skills that allow access, registration, editing, publishing and sharing content on the web. , autonomously, critically and responsibly. In this regard, it should be noted that governments must provide the necessary resources for this to be possible. As will be detailed in this article, the work carried out by a group of experts made it possible to identify the following key factors, with their corresponding proposals for action, as essential to favor the changes that must take place in education: strategic management, generalization of access to technology, ongoing teacher training and evaluation and monitoring of policies and actions that promote digital inclusion and social cohesion.


Macgilchrist, F. (2019). Cruel optimism in edtech: When the digital data practices of educational technology providers inadvertently hinder educational equity. Learning, Media and Technology, 44(1), 77-86.

As digital data become increasingly central to education, hopes for educational equity are pinned more strongly on educational technology providers. This paper examines the data practices of edtech providers who are not simply making token gestures towards justice and equality. Drawing on ethnographic interviews and Berlant’s notion of cruel optimism, it presents three data stories. The paper suggests that datafication in education provides a showcase of cruel optimism, i.e., when the object of desire is blocking one’s flourishing. The conclusion considers the constitutive paradoxes of datafied education, and implications for the current phase of edu-technical transformation.


Rowan-Kenyon, H.T., Martinez-Aleman, A.M. & Savitz-Romer, M. (2018). Technology and engagement: Making technology work for first generation college students. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Technology and Engagement is based on a four-year study of how first generation college students use social media, aimed at improving their transition to and engagement with their university. Through web technology, including social media sites, students were better able to maintain close ties with family and friends from home, as well as engage more with social and academic programs at their university. This ‘ecology of transition was important in keeping the students focused on why they were in college, and helped them become more integrated into the university setting. By showing the gains in campus capital these first-generation college students obtained through social media, the authors offer concrete suggestions for how other universities and college-retention programs can utilize the findings to increase their own retention of first-generation college students.





Dahlström, H. (2019). Digital writing tools from the student perspective: Access, affordances, and agency. Education and Information Technologies: The Official Journal of the Ifip Technical Committee on Education 24, no. 2: 1563–81.

Along with digital development, new possibilities for communicating have emerged. The younger generation has adopted these new possibilities to a great extent. In order to be able to utilise the opportunities offered by digital tools when writing, access to digital tools is essential. Schools need to develop a writing education that meets students’ contemporary writing needs. In considering this, it is important to learn more about the gains and the losses in digital writing. The purpose of this study was to understand and discuss the relation between students’ digital access, students’ perceived affordances with digital writing, and student agency. The methods used were a statistical survey and qualitative interviews. Six classes from five different schools located in a municipality in the middle of Sweden were chosen as an informant group. The results indicate that the most common condition concerning students’ digital access was that students shared digital tools for writing with their families. An analysis of affordances was carried out to interpret the empirical findings from the qualitative data. Affordances that emerged were: write-ability, edit-ability, story-telling ability and accessibility. In addition, the ways in which digital access and the affordances perceived can be related to student agency were analysed. The main conclusion was that given the conditions of digital access and opportunities to practice, the affordances of digital writing can increase student agency. In turn, this suggests that writing education that focuses on student agency can contribute to equity in writing activities.


Lowell, V. L., & Morris Jr, J. M. (2019). Multigenerational classrooms in higher education: equity and learning with technology. The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology. 36 (2), pp 78-93.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss potential challenges learners from different generations may have with current instructional methods using educational technologies in the classroom. The authors hope to create awareness to help improve equity in learning opportunities and assist educators in understanding the needs of multigenerational classrooms. Design/methodology/approach: In a narrative review of the literature, the authors present the current findings of the literature on generations in higher education and concerns for equity in learning opportunities. Findings: It is commonplace in undergraduate programs for learners of multiple generations to attend classes together and research has shown that historical context and generational experiences affect the values, attitudes and learning preferences of each generation. Therefore, higher education institutions should be aware of the demographic profile of their students, as well as the external populations from which they may recruit students, to ensure they are cognizant of the needs of these populations and can provide equality in learning opportunities. Practical implications: To assist with the needs of this changing student population, university leaders must consider generational characteristics to ensure equity in learning opportunity. Specifically, university leaders and educators in the classrooms will need to adapt and adjust for a changing student population providing instruction that meets the needs of multiple generations of learners, often within one classroom. Originality/value: Often when we think of diversity in the classroom we think of age, gender, race or even culture. Today we must add diversity in generations. Unlike other equity issues in education such as access (McLaughlin, 2010), educators may not be considering the equity in the design of their instruction to provide equitable learning experiences based on a learners’ knowledge and skills established by their experiences with technology. The lack of knowledge and skills a learner has with technology based on their experiences may create barriers to their ability to understand and complete instructional content involving technology (Wager, 2005). To ensure all learners can be successful, educators should strive to provide equality in learning opportunities when designing instruction including technology.



Staddon, R.V. (2020). Bringing technology to the mature classroom: age differences in use and attitudes. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 17, 11.

Mature students are anecdotally thought to be more anxious about technology than younger students, to the extent that they avoid using technology. This is a problem in today’s higher education classrooms which often use a range of learning technologies, particularly as cohorts are becoming more and more likely to contain mature students. Previous work examining the attitudes of mature students to technology no longer reflects contemporary student age profiles or the current technological landscape. This study asks whether modern mature students in a UK university have more negative attitudes towards technology than younger students, and whether their usage of technology is different. A new diagnostic instrument, the Technology Attitudes Questionnaire, was developed to determine how students use technology for course activities and personal use, and their attitudes towards technology more generally. It was found that mature students use fewer technologies than younger students and use them less frequently, but have used them for a longer period over their lives. No difference was found for attitudes towards technology between the mature and younger groups. This research aims to contribute to the wider field of technology attitudes and use, particularly for the modern mature student cohort. These findings can be used to inform how educators design learning resources and use technology on their courses, working towards an age-inclusive programme.




Jiménez-Cortés, R., Vico-Bosch, A. & Rebollo-Catalán, A. (2017). Female university student’s ICT learning strategies and their influence on digital competence. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 14, 10.

Emerging technologies are leading to a rethink informal education and giving rise to new educational models, especially at university level. This paper looks into the strategies used by female university students to learn ICT and how this influences their level of digital competence. To do this, we surveyed 368 Spanish university women aged 20 to 34, using two scales measuring their learning strategies and digital skills. The findings showed that university students used a variety of strategies to learn about ICT, with strategies based on independent and collaborative learning prevailing. Results also showed that those women who used a wider variety of strategies to learn ICT attained more advanced digital skills. These results suggest the need to incorporate these forms of learning used by women with advanced digital skills into university teaching.


Seok, S., and DaCosta, B. (2017). Gender differences in teens’ digital propensity and perceptions and preferences with regard to digital and printed text. Techtrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning a Publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology 61, no. 2: 171–78.

Gender differences between the reading of digital and printed text were explored in this study. Predictors of digital propensity were investigated along with gender differences in the context of digital propensity and perceptions and preferences toward the reading of digital and printed text. Findings strengthened results reported in existing research while also contributing new information. Results revealed significant regression equations, showing that gender was a significant predictor of digital propensity, with males showing a stronger propensity for information and communication technology; the mean of males’ digital propensity was significantly higher than that of females. At the same time, the mean of females’ perceptions toward digital reading was overall higher than that of males, and in the context of digital reading preferences, females read online more for entertainment and learning purposes, and read more selectively, whereas males read digital text more for comprehension purposes.


Vázquez-Cano, E., Meneses, E.L. & García-Garzón, E. (2017). Differences in basic digital competences between male and female university students of Social Sciences in Spain. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 14, 27.

This article analyses the differences in basic digital competences of male and female university students on Social Education, Social Work and Pedagogy courses. The study of gender differences in university students’ acquisition of digital competence has considerable didactic and strategic consequences for the development of these skills. The study was carried out at two public universities in Spain (UNED – the National Distance-Learning University, and the Universidad Pablo de Olavide) on a sample of 923 students, who responded to a questionnaire entitled “University Students’ Basic Digital Competences 2.0” (COBADI – registered at the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office). The research applied a quantitative methodology based on a Bayesian approach using multinomial joint distribution as prior distribution. The use of Bayes factors also offers advantages with respect to the use of frequentist p-values, like the generation of information on the alternative hypothesis, that the evidence is not dependent on the sample size used. The results show that men have greater perceived competence in digital cartography and online presentations, whereas women prefer to request personal tutorials to resolve doubts about technology and have greater perceived competence in corporate emailing. There is also evidence that the men have greater perceived competence in developing “online presentations” than women do. Regarding to, “Interpersonal competences in the use of ICT at university”, we observed that the female students opted for personal sessions with tutors in greater numbers than the male students did.




Bradshaw, A. C. (2017). Critical pedagogy and educational technology. In Benson, A.D., Joseph, R., & Moor, J.L. (Eds) Culture, learning, and technology: Research and practice, (pp 8-27). New York, Routledge.

Focusing on “ethical practice” in the definition of educational technology, the author encourages educational technologists to keep culture related issues, such as relevance, access, equity and inclusion foregrounded in their work. Critical pedagogy is recommended as a powerful and ethical means for the field of educational technology to be dynamic, adaptive, culturally relevant, and ethically responsible. This book chapter introduces the key concepts and promises of critical pedagogy, considers some tensions and resonances between the fields of critical pedagogy and offers some initial practical suggestions towards making educational technology practices more responsive and responsible at the intersection of culture, learning, and technology.


De Alvarez, M. S., & Dickson-Deane, C. (2018). Avoiding educational technology pitfalls for inclusion and equity. TechTrends, 62(4), 345-353.

The integration of technology in learning, from a cultural perspective, continues to be of concern to many. The concerns include understanding the use of tools in meaningful ways, designing learning experiences where learners retain agency in learning, avoiding unintended consequences in learning, and reconciling perspectives to allow natural learning to flourish. The purpose of this article is to encourage a healthy discussion regarding how designs may be created considering common cultural belief systems. The discussions presented will challenge how learning has been understood in the past, how it is being understood now, and how it may be designed, with thought to how contextually-cultured learning pathways can be achieved.


Mayfield, E., Madaio, M., Prabhumoye, S., Gerritsen, D., McLaughlin, B., Dixon-Román, E., & Black, A. W. (2019, August). Equity beyond bias in language technologies for education. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (pp. 444-460).

There is a long record of research on equity in schools. As machine learning researchers begin to study fairness and bias in earnest, language technologies in education have an unusually strong theoretical and applied foundation to build on. Here, we introduce concepts from culturally relevant pedagogy and other frameworks for teaching and learning, and identify future work on equity in NLP. We present case studies in a range of topics like intelligent tutoring systems, computer-assisted language learning, automated essay scoring, and sentiment analysis in classrooms, and provide an actionable agenda for research.


Subramony, D. P. (2017). Revisiting instructional technologists’ inattention to issues of cultural diversity among stakeholders. In Benson, A., Joseph, R., & Moore, J.L. (Eds). Culture, learning, and technology, New York: Routledge, 28-43.

This book chapter assesses the current state of educational technology’s relationship with issues connected to cultural diversity. The chapter is organized around a consideration of three questions. In terms of the progress made by the IT community over the past decade or so in acknowledging and responding to cultural diversity issues a) what has changed? b) What has stayed the same? and c) where do we go from here?


Wendt, J.L., Courduff, J. (2018). The relationship between teacher immediacy, perceptions of learning, and computer-mediated graduate course outcomes among primarily Asian international students enrolled in an U.S. university. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 15, 33.

This study employed a correlational research design to determine if a relationship existed between international students’ perceptions of teacher immediacy and students’ end of course grades in computer-mediated, U.S. graduate courses. Analysis demonstrated a statistically significant negative relationship between teacher immediacy and end of course grades, thus indicating that higher scores on the teacher immediacy scale relate to lower end of course grades. These findings are contrary to previous research findings with U.S. students engaging in computer-mediated courses, thus demonstrating the unique characteristics and needs of international students. Findings hold important implications to the design and delivery of graduate level courses for the international student population and reiterate the need for further investigation regarding the international student experience in U.S. higher education.


Yuen, A.H.K, Park. J.H., Chen, L., and Cheng, M. (2017). Digital equity in cultural context: Exploring the influence of Confucian heritage culture on Hong Kong families. Educational Technology Research and Development: A Bi-Monthly Publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology 65, no. 2: 481–501.

Our study examines digital equity in a cultural context. Many studies have used classic analytical variables such as socioeconomic status and gender to investigate the problem of unequal access to, and more recently differences in the use of, information and communication technology (ICT). The few studies that have explored cultural variables have usually focused on theory or considered culture as a background dimension. Our study’s central thesis is that cultural context plays a crucial role in shaping parents’ ICT-related child-rearing practices. In a case study of 22 Chinese students who share the Confucian heritage of Hong Kong, we demonstrate the importance of cultural dimensions of students’ ICT use, and examine how cultural values are associated with digital equity. Our findings reveal that Confucian values influence aspects of family/social relationships, in particular whether students receive adequate and appropriate ICT resources and use ICT effectively, which are essential aspects of digital equity.




Czerniewicz, L., & Rother, K. (2018). Institutional educational technology policy and strategy documents: An inequality gaze. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 27-45.

Issues of inequality in higher education have received considerable attention in recent decades, but the intersection of inequality and educational technology at an institutional level has received little attention. This study aims to provide a perspective on institutional educational technology policy informed by current understandings of inequality. The study takes the form of a content analysis of institutional educational technology policy and strategy documents of universities in the United Kingdom and South Africa. A preliminary review of the educational technology policy literature reveals low levels of engagement with issues of inequality in policy documents at an institutional level. Therborn’s typology of inequality provides the basis of a structured framework for the analysis, with Bourdieu’s concepts of capital being incorporated as markers of the various types of inequality. The study reveals regional differences in the approach to inequality as a policy matter, as well as a varied engagement with the issues of inequality related to educational technology at a policy level.


Huffman, S., Shae, E., & Loyless, S. (2019) Ensuring ethics and equity: Policy, planning, and digital citizenship. Education. 140:2, p87-99.

The article focuses on ensuring ethics and equity in the age of digital advancement in the field of education. Topics include issues in redesigning educational environment after consideration of the task of balancing creativity and protection demands, various concerns related to mobile technology such as cyber bullying, risk of unethical use of archived materials, parental and student consent for recording classroom activities, and issues related to Bring Your Own Device policy in classrooms.


Taylor, Z.W. 2018). “Now you’re competing”: how historically-Black colleges and universities compete (and don’t) on the Internet. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 15, 28

No extant research has examined the web presence, web popularity, and paid adword tactics of historically-Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) compared to similar institutions. This study explores these measures and evaluates how HBCU web presence, web popularity, and paid search tactics compare to similar institutions to learn whether HBCUs are competing in one of the most competitive global higher education markets: the Internet. Findings suggest HBCU websites are smaller and less popular, and HBCUs spend less on web advertising than non-HBCU peers. Additionally, non-HBCUs are 3.8 times more likely to purchase desktop adwords and 4.3 times more likely to purchase mobile adwords than HBCUs. HBCUs need to harness the power of this global market to compete in a globalized, twenty-first century higher education market. If not, the financial situations between HBCUs could exacerbate, potentially threatening the livelihood of some of the most successful and time-honored institutions in the United States.