Inclusivity in online and distance disaster education: A review of educators' views

Samarakkody, Aravindi, Samaranayake, Anuradha C., Malalgoda, Chamindi, Amaratunga, Dilanthi, Haigh, Richard, Liyanage, Champika orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-6687-3611, Hamza, Mo, Kaklauskas, Arturas and Shaw, Rajib (2023) Inclusivity in online and distance disaster education: A review of educators' views. Progress in Disaster Science, 20 . ISSN 2590-0617

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Future exemplary education should foster inclusive and respectful learning environments to meet new challenges like digital inequality and power concentration. In the new normal of education due to COVID-19, inclusive online disaster risk reduction (DRR) education is essential. Therefore, this article aims to investigate the current status quo of inclusive online and distance DRR education and its benefits. Expert interviews were conducted with 40 educators with experience in 13 countries. The experts were selected based on their experience in designing and/or delivering courses/modules related to disaster management and/or disaster risk reduction at the tertiary level. The interview questions covered 3 key aspects i.e., 1. the effectiveness of online delivery methods, 2. the status quo of online and distant DRR education and 3. the unique benefits of online education for DRR. The key findings suggest that an online setting works best when it is scientifically designed for the right audience, the right subject area, and the right mix. In creating inclusivity in DRR education, the digital divide needs to be acknowledged and interactive learning should be diversely designed. This study identifies gaps in digital disaster education, urging policy and practice changes to support diverse DRR communities beyond education providers and recipients.

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