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Inclusive Teaching and Learning Strategies

There are physical, cognitive and cultural barriers that can reduce our students’ ability to reach their full academic potential.

The list below are strategies to consider to make your teaching more effective and inclusive. The lists has been seperated into the three lenses; however, the strategies suggested will cross-over and benefit more than just that area.

Refers to where learning takes place e.g. access to a building or to a resource.

Refers to the what of learning e.g. are examples we use relevant to everyone? Are our instructions explicit or are we assuming students will have an inherent understanding.

Refers to how students learn e.g. do students assimilate, process, recall and synthesise knowledge efficiently and effectively? Do we allow flexibility in terms of how students can demonstrate their learning?

Physical Lens

  • Use an online accessibility checker to ensure font etc is accessible. 
  • Use formatting that suits screen readers. 
  • Ensure visibility of the teacher where possible (both in an online and in-person teaching space). 
  • Use captioning and transcripts for pre-recorded content where possible. 
  • Provide materials in advance to enable students to adapt contents to make them more accessible. 
  • Communicate changes in advance (e.g. timings, location of teaching session). 

Cultural Lens

  • Outline sessions in advance. 
  • Communicate clear aims and learning outcomes. 
  • Provide explicit messaging re. ‘hidden rules’ of learning e.g. how many references? 
  • Provide a glossary of key terms. 
  • Provide a prioritised reading list to help students focus on ‘depth’ rather than simply breadth of reading. 

Cognitive Lens

  • Break down information into bite-size chunks. 
  • Vary activities – move from regular short bursts of intense listening to activities which enable students to practise or apply their learning. 
  • Provide a concept map/framework/infographs to help students link information together and see the big picture.  
  • Draw on prior learning within or across units. 
  • Speed check your presentation and provide natural pauses or rest breaks. 
  • Use relevant images/diagrams to support ‘dual’ learning (words/images combined are more powerful than words alone).  
  • Summarise and recap key points. 
  • Provide clear (written) activity instructions to ensure students understand what is expected of them. 
  • Use headings, bulleted points and bold or highlighted text to ensure students utilise the most important information. 
  • Embed Mini- toolkits to boost student skills- e.g. note taking, group work. Revisit these throughout the course in the context of their subject. 
  • Build in ‘choice’ in activities/ assessment where possible – e.g. individual/pair/group presentation or blog, video etc. 
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