Inciting Change Makers in an Online Community Engaged Learning Environment During Pandemic Restrictions: Lessons from a Disability Studies and Community Rehabilitation Program

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Meaghan Edwards
Joanna Rankin


This practice-based article presents strategies employed in the shifting of the Community Engaged Learning (CEL) components of an undergraduate program in community rehabilitation and disability studies (CRDS) to an online modality during the 2020-2021 Covid-19 restrictions. The CRDS program, based in Calgary, Canada places high importance on CEL with a focus on critical engagement, mentorship, and community action for social justice. The Inciting Change Makers (ICM) framework, which we present here, is foundational to our teaching and learning in this field. During the pandemic restrictions, we found the framework not only supported us to engage learners in our focus areas for inciting change, but also provided the opportunity to consider ways that the online learning environment enhanced the CEL practica experience.

Using vignettes, we demonstrate the successful use of the ICM framework in an online CEL context to develop a more authentic, engaged and inclusive community of learners. Three vignettes illustrate specific approaches used to carry out meaningful, impactful CEL opportunities in a mandated online environment. Lessons from these strategies may assist similar programs in adapting their own Community Engaged Learning programs in an increasingly online world.


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Practice-based articles (Non-refereed)