Digital Equity & Perspectives in Distributed and Open Learning

EDCI 339 Project 1 - Published by Learning Pod #9

Guideline for Digital Equity and Perspective Pod Project


In this project, we have built a persona of a fictional learner based on some actual characteristics. He will face some challenges in either a distributed or open learning environment. He have compared the advantages and disadvantages of each for this learner and will make a recommendation in our pitch.


Step 1:

For your convenience, we would like you to know the person:

Step 2:

We made a chart for you to know his challenges and barriers:

Step 3:

Last, is an open or distributed learning environment more suitable? We made our points:



Name: Pierre

Age: 20

Lives in: Victoria, BC with his mother, younger sister and pet cat.

Likes: Music, game shows and baseball.

Education and experience Grade 12 education excelling in math, art and music. Cashier at local grocery store for past 2 years. 8 years of piano lessons. About to start first year of college in computer animation program.
Roles and responsibilities Lives at home, responsible for basic chores around the house and taking care of his cat, Felix. Works 12 hrs/wk at grocery store. Weekly piano lessons, practices 30-45 mins/day.
Goals Wants to complete a computer animation program and pursue a career as an animator. Also wants to save up money from his part-time job to purchase a new high powered computer.
Technical skills Gifted visual artist. Competent with multiple digital drawing, video and audio editing programs. 
Learner profile Diagnosed with autism as a child. Visual and auditory learner. Excellent memory and attention to detail. Likes music, art, math and working with computers and technology. Often finds creative “outside the box” solutions to problems. Tends to obsess over topics of interest and has trouble focusing on topics that are not of interest. Has difficulty recognizing some social cues or grasping jokes or sarcasm in conversation. Makes little or no eye-contact in conversation which can be perceived as rude or not listening to those who do not know him well. Can be easily distracted by extraneous sounds in the room. Was supported by an educational assistant in public school, his family is looking into learning support options for him as he starts college.
Personality traits Serious but friendly demeanor. Well liked by classmates and has a small group of close friends. Close relationship with his mother and grandparents. Introverted, likes to spend spare time alone practicing piano, drawing, watching TV and playing computer games.
Obstacles Can be easily distracted in loud or unstructured learning environments. Can be thrown off by unexpected changes in routine and needs time to refocus and reset between activities. Is used to being supported by an EA to help structure his learning and may not have the same level of support in college. Has difficulty maintaining focus through long lectures, especially without visual aids.



We analyzed our learner’s characteristics, challenges he will face and how an open or distributed learning environment will accommodate his learning needs.

(Download image as a Power Point by clicking the link below)

Pod project (Chart)


There are a number advantages and disadvantages for Pierre with both open and distributed learning models. He is a very capable student with many strengths but also some learning challenges. By recognizing and addressing these challenges Pierre, his teachers and learning support team can help him achieve success in his field of interest. Motivation and engagement are important for him, as is the way he interacts with the material in presentation and response. Pierre’s goal is to obtain employment as a computer animator. He already has experience in this area but will need to further develop his skills in order to become more employable. Within this technology field there will be many options for either open or distributed courses and programs to choose from.

An open learning model would allow Pierre to freely explore his areas of interest and really dive into the specific topics that he enjoys and most interested in. He would have massive amounts of information available to him and the ability to connect and collaborate with multiple teachers, experts and other students with shared interests. He would have the ability to work comfortably in his own optimised learning space at his own pace and seek out assistance as needed. His engagement would likely be quite strong within an open education environment and he would have opportunities to engage with others and have others view, comment, and engage with his work which would be very beneficial. Moreover, Pierre may need to be careful that he does not get carried away with certain specific topics, especially those he is already familiar with, and avoid certain topics that he is unfamiliar with. It would be beneficial for him to receive some guidance in how to structure his working time and overall scope of his learning. While he may participate in a number of open courses for free or at a limited cost, these courses may also be un-accredited and may not provide the credentials that are expected by potential employers.

A distributed learning model would likely provide Pierre with more structure and ensure a more well-rounded education that covers most if not all relevant material for his field of focus. He would still be able to work from his own comfortable space and ask questions as needed. He may be able to develop a stronger relationship with individual teachers or a learning support team who understand and can support his unique learning needs, help him to structure how he navigates through the course and provide clear and timely feedback to keep him on track. Successful completion of an accredited and recognized distributed learning program would likely provide him with the credentials to work for an animation company. Pierre is not typically a social learner and could likely complete much of his distributed learning individually but he may miss out on building some teamwork and collaboration skills that may be more easily built in a more open environment. He may struggle with certain areas of the program which are of less interest to him or where he does not immediately see the purpose of what he is learning. He may also struggle to meet expected deadlines.

An open learning environment may provide a higher level of engagement for Pierre, however ultimately we would recommend a distributed program from an accredited institution with a proven track record of successful participants gaining employment in established computer animation companies. An open learning environment may still provide Pierre with the skills to become a capable animator who could market himself to take on private contracts, however, his primary interests are in his art and computer animation skills and not becoming an entrepreneur that would also need to develop an additional set of marketing and networking skills to gain and maintain employment. Given his strong interest in the subject, with the proper supports, we believe Pierre can be successful in overcoming the obstacles facing him to complete a distributed program and meet his employment goal.


Claire Howell Major. (2015). Teaching Online – A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice. Retrieved from (pp. 88-105)

Mays, E. (Ed.). (2017). A Guide to Making Open Textbooks With Students. Rebus Community Retrieved July 16, 2020, from [chapter 1]

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved July 15, 2020, from

The UDL Guidelines. (2018). Retrieved July 17, 2020, from

About Us

Please find links to our personal blogs below:

Winky –

Jonnie – https://jbridgman.opened.

Mike –

Enrique –

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