Inclusive learning guides

  • Promoting inclusivity and valuing diversity is one of Oxford Brookes University’s core values.

    Valuing diversity means understanding, accepting and respecting the fact that every individual is unique.

    Diversity can include gender, ethnicity, religious or personal belief, race, sexual orientation, age, culture, (dis)ability and nationality. We can also talk about diversity in terms of levels of motivation, ability, attitudes, experiences, values, language, aspirations and needs.

    Inclusive teaching and learning is designed to be inclusive of, and accessible to all students.

    The Equal Opportunities and Diversity Co-ordinators’ Network has produced this series of guides that describe different ways of responding to, valuing, encouraging and enabling students from a diverse range of backgrounds to learn. Their aim is to support staff in ensuring their teaching is accessible to all.

    There are three groups of guides. Group one provides general advice on learning and teaching. Group two covers some specific action areas. Group three provides suggestions on supporting students with particular disabilities.

    Please give us your feedback on whether you have found this resource useful, and how we can improve it. Email eod@brookes.ac.uk

    Principles supporting development of the guide

    • Diversity is the norm at Oxford Brookes. We have a diverse community which reflects the multiplicity of British and international society.
    • Oxford Brookes has committed itself to providing a supportive environment where respect is shown to all and where all staff and students are encouraged to explore and perform to their potential.
    • Everyone benefits from an understanding of different cultures and perspectives.
    • Learning designed to be inclusive of, and accessible to all students will be beneficial for all students.
    • Many staff at Brookes already demonstrate learning and teaching methodologies which value and support diversity.

    Things to think about with regard to diversity

    • How do you elicit contributions from all your students?
    • How do you draw on the diversity of your students to enhance the learning experience of the whole group?
    • Have you explored and do you understand your own views and attitudes towards diversity and diverse groups in general?
    • Do you make assumptions and stereotypes based on a person’s background or appearance?
    • How do you take into consideration the fact that some students have different expectations and experiences regarding teaching and assessment methods? Do you allow for the fact that it may take time for them to adjust to a Brookes’ style of teaching and learning?
    • Do you assume that there is a collective identity that people from a particular diverse group share or do you treat everyone as an individual?
    • Have you ever asked anyone to act as a spokesperson for their perceived ’group’ without their express permission in advance?
    • Do you set out clear expectations of students eg learning outcomes, what work is expected of them, asking for help, etc?
    • Do you agree expected standards of behaviour with students to avoid derogatory or stereotypical comments?
    • Do you make your expectations clear eg by confronting any derogatory or stereotypical comments that are made about individuals or groups to prevent a recurrence?
    • Do you recognise that some aspects of diversity may not be visible?