Author: George Veletsianos Page 2 of 69

Learning futures and queer futuring

Our efforts to study and produce learning futures have led us to thinking about the following question: what are some just and ethical approaches that we can use toward creating more imaginative, hopeful, and powerful learning futures? In other words, how do we approach the work of generating learning futures with humility, openness, and recognition of the various ways in which various systems limit who participates in this conversation. For instance, there’s a dearth of instructional design models that account for equity, diversity, inclusion and justice, (OK, there’s maybe 2), and Stephanie Moore notes that the “models have are not the models we need.”

One approach specifically tied to learning futures that I came across comes from Fleener, M.J. and Coble, C. (2022), “Queer futuring: an approach to critical futuring strategies for adult learners”, On the Horizon, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 1-11.

Extended abstract in case others find it interesting is below.


The purpose of this paper is to develop queer futuring strategies that take into consideration adult learners’ needs in support of transformational and sustainable change for social justice and equity.


This paper develops the construct of queer futuring, which engages queer theory perspectives in a critical futures framework. Adult learning theory informs queer futuring strategies to support adults and inform education to sustain transformational changes for social justice and equity.


With social justice in mind, queer futuring opens spaces and supports opportunities for adults to engage in learning activities that address historical and layered forms of oppression. Building on learning needs of adults to create meaning and make a difference in the world around them, queer futuring strategies provide tools for activism, advocacy and building new relationships and ways of being-with.

Research limitations/implications

The sustainability of our current system of growth and financial well-being has already been called into question, and the current pandemic provides tangible evidence of values for contribution, connection and concern for others, even in the midst of political strife and conspiracy theories. These shifting values and values conflict of society point to the questions of equity and narrative inclusivity, challenging and disrupting dominant paradigms and structures that have perpetuated power and authority “over” rather than social participation “with” and harmony. Queer futuring is just the beginning of a bigger conversation about transforming society.

Practical implications

Queering spaces from the perspective of queer futuring keeps the adult learner and queering processes in mind with an emphasis on affiliation and belonging, identity and resistance and politics and change.

Social implications

The authors suggest queer futuring makes room for opening spaces of creativity and insight as traditional and reified rationality is problematized, further supporting development of emergentist relationships with the future as spaces of possibility and innovation.


Queer futuring connects ethical and pragmatic approaches to futuring for creating the kinds of futures needed to decolonize, delegitimize and disrupt hegemonic and categorical thinking and social structures. It builds on queer theory’s critical perspective, engaging critical futures strategies with adult learners at the forefront.


Impact Fellowship roles in the (US) Department of Education

The Federation of American Scientists’ Day One Talent Hub is actively recruiting for several new Impact Fellowship roles in the Department of Education:

List of potential talks and workshops

When I am invited to give a talk, keynote, workshop as part of an event, I like to work with organizers to explore topics of interest to make sure that what I can talk about contributes meaningfully to their work. Last month, a university was exploring different possibilities, and so I offered that I could provide a list of potential talks and workshops. I thought I’d share them here in case others find them of interest.

Better than normal: What could teaching and learning futures in higher ed look like?

  • In this interactive workshop, we will discuss, explore, and speculate what the post-pandemic future may look like for universities and colleages.

Writing and Publishing: On being a productive and impactful scholar in the field of Digital Learning

  • In this session, we will explore the notion of “impact” and I will share publishing, writing, and knowledge mobilization strategies. This session is intended for doctoral students and early career academics.

Uses, Benefits, and Challenges of using social media as an Academic

  • In this session, I will explore and summarize the uses, benefits, and challenges of social media for scholarly practice. This is a wide-ranging session that invites attendees to reflect broadly on the topic (e.g., networks of cooperation; who and why is most at risk of harassment on social media?) as well as offers practical tips (e.g., what may be some ways to minimize the amount of time I spent on social media while still being able to participate productively?)

Student experiences with Online and Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic

  • In this session, I will discuss the different strands of research that emerged during the pandemic. I will summarize “lessons learned” and implications for hybrid, blended, and online learning 

(Some) Questions in need of Answers in Using Technology in Education

  • In this session, I will discuss what I believe are some of the important research directions that I see for the field. Some examples of issues to explore are:
    • the opportunities and challenges of solving problems (e.g., lack of access to education) rather than studying tools (e.g., using social media to engage students).
    • learning futures that are founded in hope rather than unbridled optimism
    • equity, justice, and ethics as outcomes and beacons guiding the design of learning experiences, and not solely focusing on effectiveness, efficiency, and engagement


CFP: Rethinking Multimedia Design for Learning (special issue of the Journal of Applied Instructional Design)

Journal of Applied Instructional Design (JAID): Special Issue 2022 Call for  Proposals Rethinking Multimedia Design for Learning 

Special Issue Editors  

Dr. Ahmed Lachheb, Learning Experience Designer, Center for Academic Innovation,  University of Michigan.

Dr. Rebecca M. Quintana, Associate Director, Learning Experience Design, Center for  Academic Innovation and Adjunct Lecturer, School of Education, University of Michigan.

Dr. Chris Quintana, Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan.

Jacob Fortman, Learning Experience Designer and Graduate Certificate Coordinator, Center  for Academic Innovation, University of Michigan.

Email contact for the Special Issue Editors:


Multimedia design for learning has been a topic of research and a core professional function  in the instructional design profession since its inception. Much of the research on multimedia  design for learning has been grounded in work such as Mayer (2002) to provide theoretical  models about the cognitive processing of multimedia information and practical guidelines for  using multimedia in learning contexts. However, as technology and modes of instruction  evolve and substantially change over time, the landscape of multimedia research and design  for learning must keep pace with modalities that emerge from new technologies. For  example, Ainsworth (2018) noted that human learning is inherently multi-representational  and that new representational forms are being invented as new educational technologies are  advanced. Yet, most—if not all—well-established principles of multimedia learning are  rooted in empirical research bounded by historical contexts that are different from today’s  21st-century learning landscape, as Hinderliter (2022) and Moore (2021) aptly remarked.

With the rise of technologies such as immersive digital simulations (Lui & Slotta, 2014),  embedded phenomena (Moher, 2006), augmented and virtual reality (Lindgren et al., 2016),  and other forms of interactive media, what counts as “good multimedia design for learning” is  less certain. This calls for a continued inquiry by instructional design and learning sciences  communities to re-examine long-held principles and approaches to support multimedia  design for learning and adequately attend to the affordances and features of new kinds of  technology-enhanced learning environments.

Contributors to this special issue are invited to present their view on how instructional  designers, educators, and researchers should rethink multimedia design for learning in  diverse technological contexts, from an applied research and practice perspectives, through  one of the following topics (although, this list is not exhaustive):

  • The challenges and opportunities in adhering to well-established theories and  guidelines of multimedia design for learning as they relate to new representational  forms and technology-enhanced learning environments
  • Proposed theoretical revisions or expansions to existing multimedia learning theory  given the modalities and approaches supported by new technologies (e.g., haptic  interactions, grounded and embodied learning, collaboration and remote learning  platforms)
  • Potential opportunities and limitations of emerging learning environments (e.g.,  augmented, mixed, and virtual reality) with respect to new types of affordances,  features, and modalities to support educational research and instructional design
  • Multimedia design failures and/or successes, and the lessons learned from bounded  or situated design experiences
  • Ethical, social, political, or economic considerations in the design of multimedia for  learning in 21st-century learning environments

Submissions from instructional design, learning sciences, and related fields that successfully  present scholarly work in K-12, higher education, and corporate training settings are  welcome. While there is some flexibility, submissions should be between 4,000 to 5,000  words in length (excluding references and appendices). We particularly welcome  submissions that are in line with the following types of submissions:

  • Instructional Design Practice 

This is an applied journal serving a practicing community. Our focus is on what  practitioners are doing in authentic contexts and their observed results. These  articles cover topics of broad concern to instructional design practitioners. The  articles should represent issues of practical importance to working designers.

  • Research Studies on Applied Instructional Design 

JAID is interested in publishing empirical studies exploring the application of  instructional design principles in applied settings. Quantitative and qualitative studies are welcome.

  • Instructional Design/Performance Design Position Papers 

JAID also accepts position papers that attempt to bridge theory and

practice. Examples may include conceptual frameworks and new ideas facing the  instructional design community. The paper must also provide enough information to  allow the replication of the innovation or continuation of the research in other  settings. Position papers must be based in the context of a theoretical framework. Efficacy data is strongly preferred, but not always required, contingent upon the  potential generalizability or value of the innovation.

Important Dates 

March 21, 2022 Call for proposals is open.
May 15, 2022 Interested authors should submit a brief 500-word proposal  to this form*
June 1, 2022 Invitation to submit full manuscript sent to authors.
August 1, 2022 Full manuscripts due.
September 15, 2022 Reviews completed and authors notified of decision
October 15, 2022 Revised manuscripts due
December 1, 2022 Final manuscripts due to JAID.
December 2022 Publication in 2022 special issue.


*Authors may contact the editorial team ( to discuss relevance  and fit prior to submitting their proposals.

Submission Process 

If invited to submit a full manuscript, please prepare submissions according to the JAID  guidelines:

The Journal of Applied Instructional Design (JAID) is a peer-reviewed journal sponsored by  the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT)

CFP Special issue: Inclusive Distance Education for Learners with Dis/Abilities

Below is a call for proposals for papers to be published in a special issue of Distance Education.

Inclusive Distance Education for Learners with Dis/Abilities

Leading up to, and now moving through the COVID-19 Pandemic, educational institutions at all levels were developing a greater awareness of learners with diverse physical, emotional and learning challenges (de Bruin 2019; Sniatecki, et al., 2015; Kocdar & Bozkurt, 2022; Weedon & Riddell 2016). Despite the heightened awareness, educational opportunities for learners with dis/abilities are lagging. For example, while enrollment in institutions of higher education in the U.S. is increasing, degree completion rates for students with dis/abilities has been low (Järkestig Berggren et al. 2016).

Learners that are identified with disabilities are often seen for what they are unable to do without support versus what they can do in learning settings. Thus, it is critical to consider shifts in thinking from disability to dis/ability where learners are also acknowledged for their strengths and potential. Currently, these learners are considered at-risk of not receiving the same level of education as their peers, and thus there was a ‘necessity and urgency’ to provide learners with dis/abilities, access to the regular education system (UNESCO 1994, viii). Nations have stated their agreement and desire to provide an inclusive learning environment through their signing of the Salamanca Statement (1994), this was re-affirmed with the signing and rectification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), the Millennium Development Goals (2000), and most recently the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2016). As a result of these global movements, many countries have clarified and amended their respective laws to include access for learner with dis/abilities to educational opportunities at all levels.

The increasing use of distance learning strategies and affordances during the COVID-19 pandemic for all students can be seen as both an affordance and a barrier for learners with dis/abilities. A review of literature from Kinash et al. (2004) found that attending to the needs of students with dis/abilities held strong promise for ensuring online education would be accessible for all students, regardless of disability identity or status. This promising finding has not found its way into the growing use of technology in distance and online learning. Instead, there is a growing concern that access to the distance/online educational setting will solidfy within an ableist framing as it develops into a normative way of learning and away from the discourse of alternative, disruptive methods of learning. This is unfortunate since there is evidence that accessible instruction and inclusive practice lead to achievement for all students (Black et. al., 2014; Burgstahler 2015; Hromalik et al., 2018).

Such insights have important implications as universities and K-12 educational settings have increased their use of online and distance education strategies during the pandemic and will likely continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Since these modalities have the potential to address accessibility barriers and reshape expectations for when and how learning might occur, it is important to review how these strategies impact learners with dis/abilities in its current form (Xie et al., 2021). Clearly, it cannot be expected that students who stand to benefit substantially from inclusive efforts, such as increased accessibility of course materials, will automatically succeed merely because they are learning online or in some type of distance setting (Barbour & Reeves, 2009; Layne et al., 2013; Xu & Jaggars, 2014).

The purpose of this special issue of Distance Education is to share research and theorize distance/online education practices across higher education and school settings (K-12) that attend to the inclusion of learners with dis/abilities. Accepted manuscripts will represent exemplary scholarship, reflect international perspectives, and embody the spirit of inclusion in the use of terminology, study design, and theoretical framing.

Suggested topics for this issue include:

  • Analysis/critique of policies in government/law-making bodies that expand or constrain online and distance learning and their potential to include/exclude learners with dis/abilities.
  • Analysis/critique of understanding about how to support learners with dis/abilities across primary, secondary, and tertiary distance education settings in various domains, including but not restricted to academic learning, social-emotional learning and life-long learning.
  • Empirical work, including design-based research approaches, documenting attempts at inclusive design and/or instruction in distance education or online settings and the various outcomes of these attempts, including student outcomes. (Note: Please do not send a study of perceptional outcomes without other sources of data).
  • Empirical or theoretical work about transition to, and from distance educational spaces as well as between two distance education spaces.
  • Theoretical work highlighting the intersectional and evolving notions of dis/ability and its implications for distance education; this can include post-human theories and lenses.
  • The preparation of instructors at primary, secondary, or tertiary education to teach online in ways that are inclusive and informed about dis/ability—meaning that instructors learn to teach using perspectives other than traditional behavior and/or cognitive construction of learning and disability.


Submission of 500-word abstract (  – May 16, 2022

Notification and invitation of articles – May 20, 2022

First draft submitted through Manuscript Central to Distance Education – July 18, 2022

Revision notifications – August 26, 2022

Second draft submitted through Manuscript Central – September 26, 2022

Final notifications of acceptance – October 10, 2022


Special Issue Editors

Mary Rice
University of New Mexico, , Albuquerque, USA

Michael Dunn
Washington State University, Vancouver, USA


Barbour, M. K., & Reeves, T. C. (2009). The reality of virtual schools: A review of the literature. Computers & Education52(2), 402-416.

Burgstahler, S., & Russo-Gleicher, R. J. (2015). Applying universal design to address the needs of postsecondary students on the autism spectrum. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability28(2), 199-212.

De Bruin, K. (2019). The impact of inclusive education reforms on students with disability: An international comparison. International journal of inclusive education23(7-8), 811-826.

Hromalik, C. D., & Koszalka, T. A. (2018). Self-regulation of the use of digital resources in an online language learning course improves learning outcomes. Distance Education39(4), 528-547.

Järkestig Berggren, U., Rowan, D., Bergbäck, E., & Blomberg, B. (2016). Disabled students’ experiences of higher education in Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the United States–a comparative institutional analysis. Disability & Society31(3), 339-356.

Kinash, S., Crichton, S., & Kim-Rupnow, W. S. (2004). A review of 2000-2003 literature at the intersection of online learning and disability. American Journal of Distance Education18(1), 5-19.

Kocdar S., Bozkurt A. (2022) Supporting learners with special needs in Open, Distance, and digital education. In Zawacki-Richter O., Jung I. (Eds.) Handbook of open, distance and digital education.

Layne, M., Boston, W. E., & Ice, P. (2013). A longitudinal study of online learners: Shoppers, swirlers, stoppers, and succeeders as a function of demographic characteristics. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 16(2), 1-12.

Nair, S., Naidu, V., Judd, M., Kinash, S., Fleming, J., Santhanam, E., … & Tulloch, M. (2015). Case studies to enhance online student evaluation: University of Western Australia–A journey towards greater engagement through closing-the-loop. Learning and Teaching papers118.

Sniatecki, J. L., Perry, H. B., & Snell, L. H. (2015). Faculty Attitudes and Knowledge Regarding College Students with Disabilities. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability28(3), 259-275.

UNESCO (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education.

United Nations (2016). 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

United Nations. (2000). United Nations Millennium Declaration.

United Nations. (2006). Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Weedon, E., & Riddell, S. (2016). Higher education in Europe: widening participation. In Widening higher education participation (pp. 49-61). Chandos Publishing.

Xie, J., Gulinna, A., & Rice, M. F. (2021). Instructional designers’ roles in emergency remote teaching during COVID-19. Distance Education42(1), 70-87.

Xu, D., & Jaggars, S. S. (2014). Performance gaps between online and face-to-face courses: Differences across types of students and academic subject areas. The Journal of Higher Education85(5), 633-659.

Online Panel: Microlearning Interventions to Address COVID-19 #Misinformation (Feb 28, 2022 10:00am pacific)

Please join us for this free and public session on February 28 at 10am pacific.
Register at


Online Panel: Microlearning Interventions to Address COVID-19 #Misinformation

In this session, we report on the results of a rapid research project funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research in February 2020 to respond to the threat of COVID-19 misinformation. Join us to learn how we used interdisciplinary research methods to address the difficult problem of COVID-19 misinformation, or what the World Health Organization called an “Infodemic.”

The event will be organized in two segments. The first segment will last twenty minutes. During this time, four panelists will share results from their research. The second segment will last thirty minutes, and will provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.


  • Dr. Jaigris Hodson (Royal Roads University), who will describe our team’s interview and survey research (focusing on people’s COVID-19 information behaviours).
  • Dr. George Veletsianos (Royal Roads University), who will describe our efforts to design, develop, and evaluate educational interventions;
  • Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd (Ryerson University), who will describe our big data efforts, real-time capture of misinformation claims and digital dashboards to display them;
  • Dr. Shandell Houlden (Royal Roads University), who will outline some of our theoretical approaches to information disorder that informed the research.

Relevant resources


The problem with flexible learning: neoliberalism, freedom, and learner subjectivities

Someone asked me for a copy of a recently published paper, and I was reminded that I haven’t yet made the author’s copy available. I try to make all of my papers available on my publications page, by either linking to the open access versions or providing a link to a pre-print version – and if anyone emails me, I send them a copy of the published version, though there are often little differences between the author’s preprint and the published version.

In short, this paper fits within my research on flexible learning. Flexible learning is often positioned as a tool to enable freedom, as imagined through narratives of learners being able to study at “anytime” and from “anywhere.” In this paper, we explore and critique the notion of freedom in the context of flexible learning.

Houlden, S., & Veletsianos, G. (2021). The Problem with Flexible Learning: Neoliberalism, Freedom, and Learner Subjectivities. Learning, Media, & Technology, 46(2), 144-155. or author’s pre-print copy.


Through analysis of the relationship between neoliberalism, learner subjectivity, and flexible education, this paper examines the freedom said to be enabled by flexible education. It asks: What is the nature of such freedom, who does it make free, and in what ways? While flexible education is often framed to be liberatory in nature, especially when understood through the freedom to learn and study as one chooses or is able, the institutional assumptions around how one accommodates this education, the economic or logistic reasons one may be compelled to learn in such ways, and the consequent effects on subjectivity of learning in this way are rarely considered together. By laying bare the relationship between neoliberal forms of freedom (as the freedom to choose and the freedom to take responsibility for oneself), and the affordances of flexible education, this paper illuminates the productive nature of flexible education as a tool of governmentality that serves to regulate subjectivity and in fact delimit certain freedoms. Finally, this paper argues that in order for flexible education to better serve learners, normative forms of freedom must be questioned and historicized to support this work.

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