Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness in Learning & Teaching

We’re delighted to tell you about our newly updated Equality, Diversity, and Inclusiveness resource on CDN Learn Online.

We spoke to Suzanne Marshall, Curriculum and Teaching Lead at CDN, to find out more about it…

What is the Embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness in Learning and Teaching resource?

‘It’s essentially a framework for college staff which allows staff and college teams to evaluate how well colleges are embedding equality, diversity and inclusiveness within learning and teaching. This is a holistic framework made up of five sections including: the role of the lecturer, curriculum design, learning resources, further guidance, examples and links, as well as college examples. It’s one of the ways that colleges can meet their equality duties.’

Who is it for?

‘It’s relevant for anyone in a college management role but it isn’t necessarily just for lecturers – it’s also relevant to anyone in a senior management or curriculum management role, anyone that deals with inclusive policies and procedures, curriculum design, curriculum delivery, assessment and feedback.

‘There are a variety of reasons to use the framework. Colleges have a duty to eliminate discrimination and this resource can be used as an audit, training and development tool. It can also be used as a benchmarking tool, to benchmark policies and procedures against the framework. The framework is about improving the student experience by making the curriculum relevant to the diversity of the student population. We want to make sure that colleges engage their students and work with them to embed equality, diversity and inclusiveness.’

Why is it important for college staff to develop, equal, diverse and inclusive approaches?

‘It’s important to meet the needs of the student and wider society. It’s about acknowledging that students come from different backgrounds, that they are individuals offering different experiences, and quite simply the curriculum has got to adapt to what is happening in society and in the world. Colleges are touched by everything going on in society. We want to make sure that students are involved in the college, that they are represented – if they aren’t then it becomes difficult to engage students fully.

I think it’s good practice for colleges to address these important issues and this ties in with the new Professional Standards commitment to diversity, and the importance of using learning, teaching and assessment strategies to meet student needs. This is a living resource that will continue to be updated and added to with relevant content as things change. It’s vital that we keep up to date with important topics such as Black Lives Matter, gender-based violence, which is why it’s so important to take this work forward. I’m keen to hear from colleges who would like to add examples to it too.’

What’s the background to this resource?

‘This started out as a self-evaluation tool for embedding diversity, equality and inclusiveness into the curriculum in 2009/10. Over the years we have seen a widening of the priority groups that colleges have to take account of, for example – carers, sustainability, global citizenship, LGBTQ+ and many more. It was time for this tool to be updated in order to make it more relevant to reflect current times. This is a living resource which we are now constantly updating.’

How long does it take to complete the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusiveness resource?

‘This is a flexible resource which you can use to align with your priorities. It’s about how it can enhance your practice. Instead of completing it in one go, which would take around four hours, I encourage you to dip in and out of this resource on a regular basis. I recommend people to take a look at it, see how it’s configured and have a deeper dig at a time that’s convenient for you. It’s all about self-reflection so find out how this is relevant for you.’

What do you hope the resource will achieve?

‘Some people think that equality, diversity and inclusion can be quite a difficult area. This framework provides a stepping-stone, giving people a structure to look at how they might use the knowledge and expertise of other people in the college. I hope that the resource will increase staff confidence to think about issues and plan for them within learning and teaching.’

If you’d like to get in touch with Suzanne, then you can email: suzanne.marshall@cdn.ac.uk

To access the free resource simply click below to register for a free CDN Learn Online account.

Access the free resource here

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