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Dr. Aras Bozkurt

Professor in the Department of Distance Education, Anadolu University
Aras Bozkurt

Instructional designers, especially those experts on online education, became very valuable during this crisis period. But many of the higher education institutions didn’t invest in them and there’s just a few of them. They really work a lot like the doctors and nurses at hospitals trying to put content to online space to ensure the continuity of education.Their roles were very critical and probably after this point will be more critical during the emergency or remote education practices. We have seen that most of the people really don’t know what online learning is...Everybody was sharing tips and tricks about online learning. But I’ve seen that they don't have a lot of experience and they don’t know the essence of online education. At this point, instructional designers...have a critical role because what they design, they echo on the learner's side.

Dr. Aras Bozkurt

Key Interview Takeaways

We have to put trauma informed pedagogy as part of the regular curriculum. Our students face all sorts of issues during the COVID-19 crisis but it is not limited to that, especially among minorities. Without eliminating the psychological distance you cannot be successful in any learning modes, online or face-to-face.

Without removing transactional barriers, we are much likely to fail but this is where instructional designers can step in. We have to always remember that learners are humans with hearts and souls. If we cannot access their hearts and souls, we cannot access their brains and cognitive dimensions. Pedagogy of care should become more important moving forward and instructional designers can promote this.

Right now, we are seeing two options, face-to-face learning and online learning. These indicate a binary solution and makes it look like we are forced to choose between the two. I believe that blended and hybrid learning will gain more momentum in the longer term.


Aras Bozkurt is a researcher and faculty member in the Department of Distance Education at Anadolu University, Turkey. He has an MA and PhD in distance education. He conducts empirical studies on online learning through resorting to critical theories including connectivism, rhizomatic learning and heutagogy. He is interested in emerging research paradigms including social network analysis, sentiment analysis and data mining.