Being inclusive within today’s challenging HE context requires understanding, preparedness and resources to enable us to deal with an increasingly diverse set of student backgrounds, ability and attainment and larger classes whilst endeavouring to provide an excellent learning experience. All done at a time when public expenditure means resources are to be spread more thinly! So what to do?
The Inclusive Learning and Teaching (ILT) Project was launched in 2007 as one of the strategic learning and teaching priorities of the University of Sheffield.
The distinctive approach of the Project was its scope, which was not limited to working with specific groups of students, such as disabled students, but which had a vision of:
‘A University of Sheffield learning culture which enables all our students from whatever background to achieve their full potential’.
During the life of the project over 500 students were consulted; over 400 staff engaged in debates and conversations; over 1500 academic staff and teachers received ‘hints and tips’ for inclusive practice from students and 11 academic departments ran specific ILT projects.
This handbook is the culmination of this work. Many people, staff and students, took part and we would like to share some of what we have learned with you.
The enthusiasm and positive engagement of students has informed and directed much of this activity, it has also demonstrated that raising awareness of inclusive learning and teaching and making changes to teaching practice can help students make the best of their time at university and support them in becoming independent learners and critical thinkers.
Moreover, the active participation of students in their learning helps build a sense of identity and community that further empowers them. The Inclusive Learning and Teaching Handbook will help you to get involved. We hope you will find it both useful and inspiring, a resource that can be dipped into rather than read from front to back.
Click here to access the handbook.