Introduction to Inclusivity in HE

Inclusive teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others. (Hockings, 2010)

What is Inclusivity?

Inclusive learning and teaching recognises all students’ entitlement to a learning experience that respects diversity, enables participation, removes barriers and anticipates and considers a variety of learning needs and preferences. (Higher Education Academy) (HEA)

The HEA also state that inclusive learning should take into account educational, cultural and social background and experience, physical or sensory impairment and mental well-being of the learner. There is a large body of research about inclusive practice in higher education, although the research tends to focus on specific student groups rather than more generally.  It is however, important to remember that an individual’s identity is complex for example; a disabled student is unlikely to feel defined by their disability alone.  Although certain groups do have specific requirements, it is important to not categorise students in simplistic ways. Furthermore, very often if you improve teaching and learning for a specific target group, it improves the experience for all students (Plymouth University).

The HEA has a range of very useful material regarding Inclusive Learning and Teaching that can be found on their website.  There is also a range of material that will help guide you in Inclusive Curriculum Design. Jisc also had a wealth of material to support the process of developing inclusive resources and safe online working environments, see Jisc Supporting access and Inclusion

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