This T&L initiative aims to enhance inclusive teaching and learning practice at NUI Galway and develop a model for measuring and promoting inclusion that may be applied across the University.
Student diversity is a strategic priority at NUI Galway. Recent years have seen notable increases in the numbers of international students, students with disabilities and transgender students. NUI Galway also has significant numbers of non-traditional students, including mature students and students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. However, international research demonstrates the prevalence of exclusionary practices in higher education which impact not only on the student experience, but on retention and completion rates.
This initiative aims to improve the learning experience and environment, particularly for students from diverse backgrounds, using participatory methods. The project has been co-designed by academic staff, support services and students, and will be jointly run. The project will develop a model for identifying barriers to inclusion facing particular student groups and will pilot this in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, and the School of Physics. It will employ a range of methods to raise staff awareness of inclusion and help them to develop their inclusive teaching practice. These methods will include online training in Universal Design for Teaching and Learning (UDL) as well as on-campus training in inclusive teaching and learning and the use of Blackboard's Ally for LMS software. The project will also develop a model for monitoring progress on inclusion.