Inclusivity and accessibility in education refers to providing equal access and opportunities to everyone. Equal access to resources looks different to each individual, and inclusivity in education also requires different approaches to meet individual needs. Inclusivity and accessibility are becoming priorities for many institutions, and are increasing on agendas globally as we gain a better understanding of the best resources and practices to ensure equal access and opportunities for everyone.
In the context of assessment and feedback, reducing barriers is a critical component to ensure equal opportunities, access, participation, and progress. However, the process of reducing barriers can result in a disconnect between policy and practice, as well as a disconnect between staff and students. Whilst many staff are committed to the ethos and values of inclusive education, it can be difficult to respond to the needs of individual students across the cohort in practice. It is crucial to bridge these gaps with better understanding and awareness, resources, and practical solutions to both increase and maintain high standards of inclusivity and accessibility in assessment and feedback at the University of Bath.
Our research, resources, and outputs seek to bridge these gaps to create tangible, realistic solutions for both students and staff. Inclusivity and accessibility are not one-size-fits-all questions, but should rather be viewed as ongoing conversations to enable all parties to access resources in effective ways, encounter meaningful opportunities, and reach full potential in conclusive ways. Incorporating accessible and inclusive assessment and feedback practices will provide meaningful improvements for both students and staff.
In this strand of work, we:
- Worked one-on-one with the Disability Services team at the University to understand existing literature and practices for assessment and feedback, and subsequently to understand what changes are both meaningful and realistic to make at the institutional level.
- Conducted focus groups with students with non-traditional accessibility to understand their needs and produce resources tailored to their responses.
- Produced an infographic compiled of all our research and data to streamline accessible practices into assessment and feedback.
- Worked with various professional and academic stakeholders across the University and community.