‘Include Me’: A Move towards Inclusive Teaching and Assessment by Jo Augustus; School of Allied Health and Community
On reflection my style of teaching is underpinned by two attitudes I hold; commitment to others around me and collaborative working. Through my roles in HE I have focused on leading others in activities such as; course development, teaching and scholarly activity (QAA 2017) (K2; K6). The sense of working alongside, this could be as an expert or beginner, thus leading from the front, centre and behind with both students and colleagues. At times I have found this challenging and unnatural as I am an introvert, gaining inspiration from working with others once I have worked independently. This case study will outline a variety of innovative, inclusive teaching and assessment initiatives I have led, demonstrating my passion for working with colleagues and students in line with the University Strategy (2019) & Inclusive Assessment (2016).
Widening participation is a central function and aligned to my values specifically in social inclusion, which provides a framework to my approach to learning and teaching (V2; V4) (Kieran and Anderson 2018). Attending training in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) highlighted the importance of personalising learning to improve the student journey, including approaches to scaffold students into assessments (A1; A4; V1; V2) (Waitoller and King Thorius 2016). I introduced formative assessments enabling students to prepare for their summative assessment. I encouraged student peer learning through reflective practice exercises in class, designed to develop the student’s confidence in realising their own ability. I offered the students choice in their summative assessment. For example, enabling students to voice record their presentation directly into PowerPoint as an alternative to completing it in person (Dean, Lee-Post and Hapke 2017). This led to a 20% increase in students attaining a grade C or above. The grades from this assignment and module satisfaction therefore increased with failure rates decreasing from c20% to c10% (FDMH 1210). I have communicated this during away days, team meetings and chairing the Course Leaders forum and, subsequently supported colleagues across the School (K5; K6). In addition, the majority of courses now have electronic submission of assignments. I lead by example to inspire sustainable change (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008).
In order to ensure UDL is effectively managed I have supported the implementation of robust assessment processes, ensuring parity between markers (A3; A4; K2; K5). For example, ensuring that there is only one moderator per module at UW and across five partner FE Colleges (K5; K6).
I led communication on this, chairing the partner away day where I used effective communication skills, encouraging a growth mindset. I recognise partner colleges as colleagues, fostering a sense of walking alongside colleagues in equal partnership, irrespective of the geographical location of course delivery (A5; K6; V4). This approach was commended as part of our Departmental Periodic Review (DPR). ‘Students are supported in their learning, progression and attainment through personal tutoring and peer-assisted learning’ (DPR, 2019).
To conclude, this brief case study has explored the theme of UDL as a way to inspire engagement with teaching and assessment. From a personal development perspective, I recognise the need to be vulnerable through acknowledging a position of not knowing, in order to access ways to support the development of self and others.
Dean, T., Lee-Post, A. & Hapke, H. (2017) Universal Design for Learning in Teaching Large Lecture Classes, Journal of Marketing Education, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 5-16.
Kieran, L. & Anderson, C. (2018) Connecting Universal Design for Learning With Culturally Responsive Teaching, Education and Urban Society, pp. 1312451878501.
Inclusive Assessment (2016) Policy and Procedures on Inclusive Assessment, making reasonable adjustments and providing for alternative assessment arrangements [online] Available at: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/aqu/documents/Inclusive_assessment_and_reasonable_adjustments
_policy_and_procedures.pdf Accessed on 8 September 2019
QA&E (2017) University of Worcester Framework for the Management of Quality Assurance and Enhancement [online] Available at: https://www.worc.ac.uk/aqu/documents/Framework_for_Management_of_QA_and_E.pdf Accessed on 15/09/18
Thaler. R.H. and Sunstein C.R. (2008) Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Yale University Press, London
University Strategy (2019) The University of Worcester’s Strategic Plan – Values and Vision: Inspired for life. [online] Available at: https://www.worcester.ac.uk/documents/university- worcester-strategic-plan-2019.pdf Accessed on 8 September 2019
Waitoller, F.R. and King Thorius, K.A. (2016) Cross-Pollinating Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Universal Design for Learning: Toward an Inclusive Pedagogy That Accounts for Dis/Ability, Harvard Educational Review, vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 366-389.