Responding to academics’ requests for further information and practical guidance, examples, and ‘quick fix’ tips, the University of Brighton produced a wide-ranging toolkit developed as a diverse online website resource.
It includes sections covering:
- What is inclusive practice?
- Key points for lecturers
- Sector developments
- Supporting academic staff
- Creating resources
- Learning and teaching
The toolkit is designed to help staff consider the implications and possibilities of applying inclusive practice approaches to their own curricula. The toolkit is itself intentionally designed to be inclusive and accessible, for example through videos giving examples of inclusive practice currently in place. The toolkit is designed both for quick reference, and for longer investigations. The toolkit and its development have been presented at several conferences.
A particularly successful and rewarding part of the project involved having unrehearsed and unscripted discussions with academics and students to create video resources. This highlighted several incidental benefits of adopting inclusive practice in teaching learning and assessment, including time saving; effective approaches for large cohort (250-300) teaching; more effective learning (than assessed presentations). Academics were also pleased to have their pedagogical innovations appreciated, and to share them with colleagues – when often only discipline related achievement is appreciated.
This built on two other pieces of work:
- Over 500 academics at the University of Brighton have attended awareness and training continuing professional development (CPD) workshops on inclusive practice. These workshops included capturing and sharing examples of inclusive practice already happening within schools.
- Inclusive practice was selected as a theme for Brighton’s annual Academic Health monitoring exercise in 2014/15. This required every module and course leader to reflect on their practices and account for the extent to which inclusive practice has been adopted or could be adopted, and any barriers to its adoption.
Learning points and reflections
Get senior staff buy in. Laborious as it might appear to be to request senior committee endorsement for every inclusive practice recommendation, this has paid dividends as the university senior management team sponsor mandated heads of schools to run inclusive practice workshops and nominate attendees. Consequently the university had 100% of schools giving a slot to run inclusive practice workshops, and over 500 academics participating in them.
Design CPD training events to meet the institution’s research needs too. The university intentionally structured CPD workshops so that they were both opportunities to present the principles and practice of inclusive practice; and also gave extensive opportunities for colleagues to exchange current inclusive practices with each other, which was collated and developed into a case study resource.
If you would like to get in contact with the University of Brighton about this case study, or to request access to the toolkit, please get in touch with Advance HE via firstname.lastname@example.org to request contact details.