Instructional Design on Jun 06, 2023
DEI goes beyond buzzwords; it embodies essential values of diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Integrating DEI principles into all training initiatives is crucial: it fosters a comprehensive learning environment where all participants feel heard.
In this guide, we will explore how to apply these principles into content design and provide tips and key considerations for before, during, and after a training program.
Define your audience: Before creating the material, make sure you include all your learners and define effective methods to ensure the training approach matches the diversity of your audience. Take into account the participants’ learning styles and abilities, their language fluency, their sensory and cognitive capabilities, as well as their previous knowledge and experiences. Use this data to tailor the training accordingly and include alternative training methods, such as visual, auditory and kinesthetic material.
Assess training materials: Review your material to identify potential bias or exclusionary content. Does your material reflect diversity? Is the training accessible to all participants? Revise your content to ensure it aligns with DEI principles and use materials that allow all participants’ engagement. Provide your content in different languages, various accessible formats and facilities.
Diverse Facilitators and Speakers: Participants feel more encouraged and represented when they see and hear experiences they can relate to. Seek a diverse group of facilitators and speakers who can provide different perspectives and role models for all participants. Enriching the range of perspectives that participants are exposed to enhances valuable learning opportunities.
Use inclusive imagery: When creating visuals, opt for images that showcase diversity in terms of race, gender, age, ability, and other relevant dimensions. Represent individuals engaged in several technical activities, fostering a sense of belonging for all participants. To ensure readability and clear visualization, take into account the size and color choices for backgrounds, illustrations and fonts.
Accessibility of materials: Consider delivering training in alternative formats to make the information accessible to all participants. If possible, include closed captions or alternative text for your visual material. Determine if translators and interpreters are needed to include in the audience individuals who speak a foreign language or communicate through sign language. If the training will be delivered in person, consider recording the training and/or adding remote participation options.
Get learners involved: Training is not limited to sharing information about a specific topic. Consider structuring your training into sections with break times that allow participants to take their time to process the information. Use a combination of methods to reinforce the information and encourage learners to be trainers as well: encourage the participants to share their experiences and evaluate their learning process through games, individual and group assignments, role-play, tests, debates, and more.
Ask for feedback: Conduct post-training evaluations to assess participants’ experiences and the effectiveness of the DEI initiatives. Use feedback to continuously improve future training sessions.
Include extra materials: Provide additional resources for participants to deepen their learning. Share relevant articles, books, videos, events, and other training materials so participants can further enhance their understanding of the topics.
Long-term DEI Initiatives: Encourage participants to implement DEI practices in their daily work and interactions, fostering a more inclusive culture within the organization.