We cannot forget about online learning spaces. Although everything discussed up to this point applies in the online setting, online learning has a specific culture all its own. Opportunities for practitioners to develop cultural responsiveness significantly limit online instructors’ ability due to lack of proximity, lack of collaboration, and need for travel for face-to-face collaboration. However in 2020, due to the worldwide pandemic, we have reimagined professional development for educators. With that said, education professionals face challenges when cultural responsiveness in more nebulous virtual learning spaces. The importance of cultural responsiveness in online spaces gained more consideration since more recently, when millions took up virtual and digital communications to sustain or increase their presence in vital business and personal interactions.
Similar to face-to-face learning experiences, practitioners facilitate, build, maintain, and sustain relationships among members of the online learning community. Instructors are also responsible for facilitating meaningful connections between students and course content. Building a culturally inclusive atmosphere requires understanding community members and their ethnic and cultural norms. Online learning environments are limited to ethnic and cultural cues, but some cultural cues exist. A culturally responsive practitioner can recognize these attributes to build and sustain healthy collaborative and social experiences in a learning environment and facilitate meaningful learning experiences.
An absence of affirmation, social acceptance, and psychological well-being within the applied theoretical frameworks contributes to adverse psychological and academic outcomes for systematically marginalized, racialized, student populations.
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