In recent years, Oxford Brookes has undertaken an ambitious programme to meet its strategic commitments in further improving the student experience. This has become established as the Programme to Enhance the Student Experience (PESE).
In 2016 the University launched eight projects which form the PESE 2 and included Inclusive multi-modal learning environment, a project divided into four work streams:
- Diversifying the curriculum
- Identifying best practice in academic induction
- Supporting students' learning needs
- Inclusive assessment research.
The resources included here were developed for Supporting student’s learning needs. This work stream was originally proposed by members of the Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) Team in 2014 in response to the reduction in Disabled Students’ Allowances funding that currently many of the approximately 1650 students at Brookes with SpLDs rely on. The focus of the project was the needs of students with dyslexia/SpLD, using those specific needs, as a way to assess inclusive practice which benefits all students.
The project commenced with a review of existing research and literature about inclusive design, or universal design for learning in an educational context. This research showed that inclusive teaching should be accessible to all through preparation and flexibility; preparing for the anticipated needs of students by ensuring the curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate these needs.
The project team carried out further research into inclusive learning and teaching practices, including seeking the views of Brookes’ students and assessing the approaches taken by other universities. This research informed the development of resources which were piloted during 2016/17.