On Wednesday 4th July the Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador Programme Team held a workshop at the Advance HE Annual Conference. The conference was a 3 day event, with each day focusing on 3 different subjects: Arts and Humanities & Health and Social Care, Sector Priorities, STEM & Social Sciences. Our workshop, which was facilitated by each Programme Assistant and a Student Ambassador from University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Birmingham, focused on addressing the differential outcomes experienced by Black Asian and Minority
Ethnic (BAME) students and those from low socio-economic backgrounds by opening the dialogue on inclusive teaching and learning environments through a capacity based
We kicked off our workshop with a brief presentation into the Diversity & Inclusion Student Ambassador Programme, covering it’s background, structure, role of the ambassadors and objectives. Following this, we split the participants into 3 groups with an Ambassador allocated to each one. The Ambassadors then helped to facilitate a discussion amongst the groups focusing on 3 key areas: inclusive curricular, inclusive learning and teaching and assessment and feedback. The groups had 10 minutes to discuss prepared questions on each area and once all areas were covered we had 10 minutes for feedback.
Findings & Suggestions
- Questioning the capacity for predominately white male lecturers to be able to know how to make their courses more inclusive.
- Beneficial for students to audit reading lists.
- Gaps in attainment mapped into less diverse curriculum’s.
- The importance of terminology in marketing.
- Representing ethnicity in reading lists, materials and marketing requires raising an awareness amongst staff of the issues faced by BAME and low-socio-economic student groups.
- More of a focus on data and what specific courses are struggling to be inclusive.
- Implementing alumni into the process of reviewing curriculum’s and providing suggestions.
- Diversity in teaching staff (role modelling).
- Intellectual Engagement.
Inclusive learning & teaching
- UEA Health students are included in all curriculum design, which is sustained through several years.
- Students on interview panels for recruitment.
- A lack of understanding of student backgrounds: who are our students? Backgrounds/journeys?
- Sometimes difficult to find student voice to feed into curriculum.
- Utilise student ambassadors to identify genuine needs of other students.
- Benefits of proactive Students’ Unions.
- Students respond better to student-led surveys.
- Use students as peer teachers and build capacity.
- Internships for international students.
- Challenging assumptions about access i.e. access to I.T.
- Research focus can sometimes undermine engagement.
- Unconscious bias training.
Assessment & Feedback Practices
- How do we develop BAME students confidence in giving and receiving feedback.
- Easy access to student advisors to encourage dialouge.
- Give students the opportunity to design their own assessment e.g. videos/posters.
- Clarity on assessments: staff videos to help unpick how to approach assessments.
- Issues with student confidence in giving transparent feedback to staff.
- Varied assessment programmes (interactive assessments).
- All students to be able to speak to first markers, challenge marks and effectively complain through their SU.
- Speed of assessment feedback and value of individual face-to-face.
- Authentic assessments seeking student feedback.