Deakin’s diverse student cohort
Deakin has a very diverse community of students and staff that span axes of difference including nationality, language, culture, gender, sexuality, religion, and socio-economic status. No two students are the same, even if they display similar types of characteristics. Often these differences are invisible and never disclosed, and may vary over time.
Inclusive teaching therefore means rethinking the ways in which we teach, design and deliver curriculum and assessment in order that learning is engaging, meaningful, relevant and accessible to all students.
To teach inclusively is not just an aspirational goal
All Australian higher education providers are obliged under the Australian Higher Education Standards Framework (2015) to use inclusive teaching and learning approaches and practices:
‘[T]o accommodate student diversity, including the under-representation and/or disadvantage experienced by identified groups, and create equivalent opportunities for academic success regardless of students’ backgrounds’.
Inclusive teaching is challenging
Inclusive teaching acknowledges that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ magic formula. It requires us to reflect on our unconscious biases and to question our assumptions. Being proactive about incorporating diversity into our pedagogical approaches and curriculum is part of a teaching experience that is evolving and complex. It challenges us to use multiple strategies for delivering information and to provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired.
But the benefits are worth it! More of your students will feel engaged and valued. They will feel safer and more able to voice and present their ideas, thoughts and questions. And scholarly research demonstrates that this will contribute to improved student retention and success data.
This site is for all Deakin staff
This site is for all academic and professional staff at Deakin, who are involved in teaching and supporting students or curriculum and capacity building. We hope by using this site, you and your students will grow, engage and connect as you trial ideas, activities and assessment tasks that support their diverse learning abilities and backgrounds and help them to reach their full potential.
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This site aims to be practical, usable and accessible! We intend to showcase, wherever possible, Deakin teachers’ inclusive learning and teaching exemplars and ideas. So, if inclusive learning and teaching sounds interesting to you, please take a moment to sign up to our free subscription below.
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This project has been funded by the Higher Education and Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), through the Federal Department of Education and Training and is part of the Inclusive Curriculum and Capacity Building project, sponsored by the Diversity and Inclusion unit at Deakin University. For more information on the HEPPP projects at Deakin go to the Diversity and Inclusion web page.
The Inclusive Education Project team, comprising Robyn Everist, Dr Janet Watson, Dr Kathryn Keeble and Dr Mary Dracup, would like to acknowledge the substantial support for this project provided by Mel Martinelli (Director, Diversity and Inclusion), Merrin McCracken (Manager, Access and Equity) and numerous other Diversity and Inclusion staff. We would also like to acknowledge the many academic and professional staff who enabled us to share their work, insights and exemplars on this site, and the time and interest generously provided by user testers from across university faculties and divisions.