Promoting Inclusive Practice: This sections signposts a variety of policy documents and resources for strategic planning. To read about Aston University's policy click here.
Aston's policy helps to set the context for the themes included in the toolkit (below).
Themes in the Toolkit
Encouraging equitable participation in the classroom: This section relates to encouraging all students to participate in the classroom e.g. all students have an opportunity to speak and all contributions are acknowledged.
Helping Students feel like they belong: This builds upon the existence of a respectful environment, being proactive in making all students feel that they are equally valued and contributions are equally acknowledged. This may be as simple as remembering student names, giving all students eye contact and smiling at them.
Being responsive to student diversity in the classroom: Making the curriculum inclusive, for example, by providing culturally relevant examples such as referring to:
the oil industry in a chemistry class (large population of Nigerian students)
the relative impact of recession on developing countries (Economics)
Respecting student diversity: This section relates to awareness and respect of student diversity with regards to nationality, culture, religion and other demographic factors such as age and class. For example, setting ground-rules about acceptable engagement in the classroom, and not asking students to be a spokesperson for their ethnic group. This section also includes examples outside of the classroom, for example, addressing cultural sensitivities by providing female students with the opportunity to see a female member of staff if preferred.
Teaching small groups of students: This relates to inclusive practice for small group sessions such as tutorials, seminars and small lab classes, where there is more opportunity for interaction between the tutor and students and between fellow students.
Student Group Work: This relates to students working on both formative and summative group tasks. For example, this includes consideration of how groups are allocated, student roles within groups, and how group work is assessed.
Teaching large groups of students: This typically relates to teaching students in a lecture theatre in which there is limited opportunity for staff and student interaction. For example, encouraging all students to sit together rather than being spread out across a large lecture theatre; and addressing questions to students in the middle and back rows rather than just the front rows.
Engaging and supporting students and staff outside of the classroom: This section relates to encouraging engagement of students in out-of-class activities, and making all students feel that they are included. For example:
facilitating subject-specific societies
signposting to extra-curricular activities e.g. Guild societies
referring to learner development opportunities provided by the Learning Development Centre such as the Student Writing Mentors, and CELCA (International students only)
producing newsletters to keep students informed
setting up opportunities for peers to network and support each other such as tutor-led Facebook site set up by Combined Honours, and the University-wide Peer Mentoring Programme.
designing appropriate transition and induction activities for new students.
This section also refers to how staff can be engaged and supported, for example via staff training and workshops to enhance their cross-cultural awareness.