Liberatory Design: Taking Action to Learn and Liberate

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Title

EdMedia + Innovate Learning


Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


Vienna, Austria

Conference Dates

July 10-14, 2023

Date of Presentation



Business and technology leaders innovate, prototype and try new products and services to improve human experiences, yet educational innovation is less common. Applying similar design principles, educators can innovate to more equitably meet student needs. Liberatory Design may support innovation in education and assessment and be used as a foundation for educational liberation. With equity-minded assessment and ungrading practices gaining momentum, this developing action research study will utilize Liberatory Design as a framework for innovation in a graduate program. Based on informal survey data and conversations in the fall of 2022, graduate students report reluctance related to ungrading practices that encourage risk-taking, ongoing iteration, and substitute feedback for traditional letter grades. Simultaneously, responding to initial assessment prototypes, students reported feeling liberated by the opportunity to revise and grow their work. Findings suggest collaborative engagement in Liberatory Design may support a shift in mindset and practice to fully embrace equity-minded assessment.


In Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning, T. Bastiens (Ed.)

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