Principles of inclusive education
Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others.
Deakin’s inclusive education principles
Ways of applying Deakin’s inclusive education principles
Universal Design for Learning: key principles of inclusive teaching practice
The principles of UDL, which inform our inclusive teaching toolkit, aim to meet the needs of students with diverse language and learning skills through providing multiple ways for students to:
• gain knowledge via different modes of content delivery (multiple means of representation),
• demonstrate knowledge via different activities and tasks (multiple means of expression and action), and
• interact with their teachers, fellow students, and study materials (multiple means of engagement).
UDL is an inclusive set of principles that can be applied to most, if not all educational settings. UDL in the Higher Education sector is very useful when ‘developing curricula, selecting materials and creating learning environments that takes into account the wide variability’ of university students.
Watch this video: UDL on campus [00:02:09]
Take the time to familarise yourself with what UDL looks like in the Higher Education context.
Be sure to visit and view the UDL Guidelines. By planning and designing your teaching to target diverse students, and keeping these guidelines in mind, the need for adaptation or retrofitting is minimised.
The infusion model of inclusive pedagogy
The infusion model of inclusive pedagogy emphasises the application of inclusive practices to all parts of the curriculum: the intended learning outcomes, learning activities and materials, assessment tasks, course-specific skills and graduate learning outcomes, and inclusive physical and virtual learning environments. By infusing your ULOs/CLOs& GLOs, learning activities and assessment tasks with inclusive design principles you can positively impact every student’s learning experience. The graphic below demonstrates this process while also providing ideas for how you can share this approach with colleagues.
(Source: Claire Nihill, ResearchGate)
Ways of aligning with Deakin policies and procedures
Learning is inclusive: learning experiences and environments are designed to accommodate student diversity, and create equivalent opportunities for academic success for all learners in rich online (cloud-first) and located learning activities and spaces.
Deakin University policies, procedures, and strategic documents that relate to supporting inclusive practice include:
- Diversity and Inclusion Policy(see item 13)
- Higher Education Courses policy(see items 7c, 7d and 28c)1
- Higher Education Courses Approval and Review procedure(see items 5 and 6b)1
- Gender Transition procedure
- Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Victimisation and Vilification (Staff) Complaints procedure
- Reasonable Adjustments Procedure
- Accessibility of Materials Procedure
- LIVE the Future Agenda 2020 (PDF 2.5MB)
- Student Learning and Experience Plan 2016 – 2020
- Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2018 – 2020 (PDF 1.6MB)
- Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2017 – 2020 (PDF 3.7MB)
- Gender Equity Plan 2017– 2020 (PDF 856KB)
- LGBTIQ+ Plan 2017 – 2020 (PDF 3.5MB)
1Compliant with external legislation, including the Higher Education Standards Framework.
Deakin Curriculum Framework
- A new version of the Deakin Curriculum Framework has been approved by the Academic Board meeting 20 Nov 2018(see 15.3) and can be found in Section 6 of the Higher Education Courses policy.
- The Deakin Curriculum Framework includes new Principles for Premium Learning and Teaching.Item 28 (3) states:
Want to know more?
Burgstahler, S 2015, Universal design of instruction (UDI): definition, principles, guidelines and examples, DO-IT University of Washington, retrieved 4 December 2015.
Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) 2011, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines: full-text representation version 2.0, CAST, retrieved 17 December 2015.
Devlin, M, Kift, S, Nelson, K, Smith, L & McKay, J 2012, Effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds: resources for Australian higher education, Office for Learning and Teaching, Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Sydney, retrieved 21 August 2016.
Devlin, M & McKay, J 2017, Facilitating success for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds at regional universities, ResearchGate, retrieved 18 September 2018.
Hockings, C 2010, Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: a synthesis of research, Higher Education Academy, retrieved 18 January 2016.
Larkin, H, Nihill, C & Devlin, M 2014, 'Inclusive practices in academia and beyond', in The future in learning and teaching in next generation learning spaces: international perspectives on higher education research, Emerald Group Publishing, Bradford, vol. 12, pp. 147 – 71.
UDL On Campus, n.d., UDL in higher ed, CAST, retrieved 11 May 2017.