5 things to read… as suggested by you!
Freddie Gent is an HE Admin Intern in Academic Development, with a particular interest in inclusion and the student voice. He works across a broad range of ITL projects and areas including the recent Inclusive Teaching Workshop series, supporting the development of an inclusive education framework. Here Freddie brings us the latest ‘5 things to read on…’, which this month focuses on topics suggested by you, our readers.
Every student deserves an equal opportunity to succeed during their time at University, which means that we must aim to be as inclusive as possible. We should put aside some time to reflect on our teaching practices and consider whether they unintentionally hinder our students’ ability to reach their full potential. To aid reflection, planning and teaching, the Institute of Teaching and Learning is leading the drive towards the creation of an Inclusive Education Framework.
Over the past two months, staff and students from all parts of the University have come together to discuss inclusive teaching and learning as part of a series of Inclusive Teaching workshops. Our initial workshop identified five key areas which we went on to explore further: Curriculum, Teaching Practice, Environments and Communities, Assessment, Feedback. These workshops and the discussions had within them have provided a strong platform on which to begin building our framework, including resources that have been generously shared amongst colleagues and pulled together in an open Padlet. Here is a selection of articles from the Padlet, as suggested by you!
Take your teaching online
This free, 8-week course from The Open University was first recommended during the initial pivot to online learning in March 2020, but continues to receive commendation from colleagues. Take your teaching online requires no sign-up and covers themes including ‘Supporting learners with different needs – accessibility in online teaching’, ‘Finding, using, and sharing educational materials online’ and ‘Evaluating changes and enhancing practice’. We also link to this training through the Institute’s Delivering Blended Learning toolkit. The course itself is self-paced and recommends up to 3 hours of study each ‘week’. While it is important to remember that online learning is not blended learning, it nevertheless should help you to understand how to create and evaluate approaches to online teaching that are appropriate for you whether in an online or blended context.
Decolonising the curriculum through digital archives
As part of an extended examination of decolonisation and the representation of ethnic minority voices in curriculum planning, PGCE Historians used the National Archives to locate records that could form the basis of lesson planning. Whilst the inclusion of non-white voices in curricula is important, the testimonies of the PGCE students themselves attest to the need for these to be used in a variety of ways; rather than serving Western or Eurocentric stereotypes of oppression and injustice, these voices can be explored through a lens of rich culture, tradition and individuality.
In addition to our PGCE Historians searching the National Archives for diverse voices and examples, our workshop conversations highlighted D-Place as a good resource to use when creating a variety of inclusive case studies and examples. Recognising that information is often dispersed – and preserved – only within particular communities, D-Place aims to bring this information into one database so as to allow individuals to contrast their own cultural practices with those of other societies. To aid users with referencing and locating information temporally, all cultural descriptions are tagged with the date to which they refer and with the ethnographic sources that provided the descriptions.
British Dyslexia Association
The British Dyslexia Association website provides a dedicated page for Educators, offering advice on identifying students with dyslexia and suggested actions that can be taken to support these students through your teaching practice, in the classroom environment and through assessment. Within the employer section of the website, the Association provides a useful dyslexia friendly style guide which can support best practice when designing documents, presentations and other teaching resources.
Responsible Research and Innovation
Many staff will engage in research alongside their teaching responsibilities. Students will often take an interest in their lecturer and their field of research; in some instances students might even contribute to that research. While this introduction to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) relates to the sciences, it raises an important point that “responsible innovation creates spaces and processes to explore these aspects of innovation in an open, inclusive and timely way”. As is the case with inclusive teaching, RRI is a collective responsibility drawing on the input and support of all stakeholders. When tackling difficult issues, it is important to engage in clear and open dialogue.