CRUSH: A Model for Inclusive Instructional Design

Black woman teaching remote students. Black woman teaching remote students. Image purchased at BlackIllustrations.com.

Even the most well designed courses can have equity gaps. The CRUSH model outlined below can help teachers and learners think about how to create a more inclusive course and how to assess students in a manner that maximizes motivation:

1- CLARITY

Be sure that you have communicated clearly what the goals and functions of your activities and assessments are. Explain what you are asking learners to show you and why. 

2- RELEVANCE

Learning is most powerful when it is connected to the world around us and leaves room for the learner to make additional connections. You will create relevance for an assessment when you ask the learners to co-construct knowledge and tell you what is important to them.

3- UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Use the Universal Design Learning framework to ensure accessibility and equity are baked into your course design. 

4- SHARED POWER

Invite learners to set their own goals, contribute to rubrics, recommend readings or sources and teach during class sessions. When we share discursive power in ways that affirm each other, we create a liberating educational space. Please be sure to insist that this goes hand-in-hand with an ethic of honoring others with dignity and respect.

5- HUMAN-CENTERED

Make sure your course design does not privilege technologies or spaces over human beings. Ask how humans will experience the course structures you want to use. Then ask how those structures are either enhancing or hindering learning. Do as much as you can to mitigate any of the latter.