Designing an Inclusive Intercultural Online Participatory Seminar for Higher Education Teachers and Professionals

  • Ilene D. AlexanderEmail author
  • Alexander Fink
Part of the Research in Networked Learning book series (RINL)


How do we design an inclusive, collaborative online learning space to encourage deep discussion, analysis, and practical change in the pedagogical practices of present and future university teachers? How especially do we foster this engagement around “difficult” and “common sense” conversations? With these questions in mind, the authors explore their development of a relational, reflexive, dialogical, and praxis-oriented online learning space as a springboard for co-creation of intercultural teaching and learning knowledge and practice among education professionals. The authors draw on their locations as an experienced educator of future teachers and a graduate student in youth leadership, both rooted in social justice activism and interdisciplinary scholarship to discuss developing a seminar that (1) embodied its content (intercultural, inclusive learning and teaching) in praxis, (2) supported development of networked learning connections between learners, teachers, resources we collectively brought together, and (3) extended to the communities that participants entered daily as teachers and learners. This chapter details the process of co-designing such a seminar, discusses some of the pedagogical processes utilized to promote the co-production of knowledge with participants, and explores the outcomes of these efforts with participants.



The authors especially thank Jane O’Brien and Kate Martin for their clear and ongoing support for the development of this seminar, and we remain thankful for the support from Susan Tade, David Lindeman and Chris Scruton, our teaching with technology consulting colleagues. Alex and Ilene owe thanks (and pints) to our 2 July Learning Community, who responded to early ideas and then checked in with us during the beta run. We want to thank Erik Epp for developing the visualizations of networking and nodes within discussion participation data for the Spring 2015 seminar. Finally, we note our deep appreciation of John Wallace as a scholar, community builder and mentor in our personal and professional lives.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Educational Innovation, University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Youth Studies, School of Social WorkUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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