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Centering Youth Voices in the Design and Assessment of Remote Learning Experiences

We need to design remote learning experiences WITH youth and to use innovative research methods to listen deeply to youth voices.

Photo of Ioana Literat
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher
  • Parent/Caregiver
  • Researcher focusing on youth online participation

Tell us about your idea

Too often, we design educational experiences / platforms / tools FOR students, rather than WITH them. The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing these issues of agency to the foreground. With few exceptions, mainstream accounts of remote learning experiences during the pandemic are focusing on two groups of stakeholders: parents and teachers. When student input is included in the design and assessment of such initiatives, it is often in the form of surveys or other evaluation methods that don’t sufficiently make space for student voices, nor genuinely center youth agency. 

Here, I’d like to push all remote learning stakeholders to approach this challenge first and foremost from the perspective of youth, making a deliberate effort to listen to students and lift up their voices.  

[continued in attachment, due to the maximum character count... academics are known to be long-winded :-)]

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Pretending that education is the great equalizer and that equity aspects are irrelevant or invisible. Also, thinking about screen time in absolute terms, without necessary nuance.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design program at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research examines young people’s digital participation, with a particular focus on the civic and political aspects of youth creative expression in online spaces. In studying youth online participation, I prioritize listening to youth voices as a way to understand opportunities and challenges that shape their social, cultural and educational contexts. 

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

New York City


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Ioana Literat , really exciting to read through your idea.
With the deadline for the Ideas submissions approaching quickly on May 26, It might be helpful to update your submission with additional information such as the progress you have made so far , the feedback you have received and any other information from the comments to ensure that all of your insights are captured for our evaluators

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