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Strategic Visions & Values: Inclusive Curricula and Leadership in Learning and Teaching

Presentation at Durham University Leadership in Learning and Teaching workshop, on 12/2/20

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Strategic Visions & Values: Inclusive Curricula and Leadership in Learning and Teaching

  1. 1. Strategic Visions & Values: Inclusive Curricula and Leadership in Learning and Teaching Richard Hall ¦ @hallymk1 rhall1@dmu.ac.uk ¦ richard-hall.org
  2. 2. • Managing innovation around education and technology in schools and HE [HEA, Jisc, KTP] • Whole-institution curriculum re-design [C2004] • Ongoing accredited/non-accredited professional development [PGCHE] • National networks [NTFS, OE] • Radical/decolonial/co-operative pedagogies [#radped, Coop Uni, SLRC] • Institutional inclusivity programmes [Universal Design for Learning; Freedom to achieve; Decolonising DMU] • Integrating research and teaching [research-engaged teaching/developing researchers’ effectively]
  3. 3. • The value of higher education • A movement of policy and practice • The management of tensions in innovations that materially affect labour rights, processes and workloads • A flow toward risk-based management of curriculum relationships • A risk of forgetting of our QE past for our QA future • Where do risky or alternative pedagogies sit? What do we value? • Inclusivity as a means of silencing • Corporate vs cooperative management, governance and partnerships?
  4. 4. What are your experiences of working to embed visions in the curriculum? If you have an inclusivity-based exemplar, please use that example. I was asked to share my experience of working to embed inclusivity in the curriculum, with a focus upon strategic visions and values. NB this afternoon you are working on visions into action, so my focus in on that process.
  5. 5. our country’s future depends more than ever on the success of our HEIs; we will not forget the underlying values of HE… joy and value of knowledge pursued for its own sake; pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful; uncompromising in our protection of students’ interests… insist on value for money for the student [and] also for the taxpayer. Barber, Foreward, in DfE, 2017, pp. 8-9.
  6. 6. Effective competition compels providers to focus on students’ needs and aspirations, drives up outcomes that students care about, puts downward pressure on costs, leads to more efficient allocation of resources between providers, and catalyses innovation. The higher education sector in England is well suited to market mechanisms driving continuous improvement. DfE, 2017, pp. 43-5.
  7. 7. Visions and values, some matters arising: • relationships conditioned by competition and metrics; • performance management; • learning and teaching as service-driven innovation; • finance capital and the need for efficiencies; • USPs, brand, risk; • tensions between vocation and business; and • accountability, autonomy and authority.
  8. 8. How does value, and differential expectations of value, affect your ability to deliver inclusive learning and teaching? How do they affect: prioritisation of activities; people and relationships; workloads; curriculum design, delivery and assessment; the deployment of resources and technologies?
  9. 9. A DMU case study: Freedom to Achieve becomes Decolonising DMU
  10. 10. Some DMU context • 4 faculties; 19k UG; 4k PG • 158 programmes (c. 1800 modules) • HEC: corporate governance • Innovation via Programme/Project Management: Strategic Management Group; Theme Boards; Project Boards • BAU: committee structure
  11. 11. Some DMU context • ULTAS: co-creation, universal design for learning, building (student) capability • CAI; festival; conference; staff development (UKPSF); AIP/£ • TEF: employability; #DMUSquareMile; personalization; student support; resources linked to outcomes; culture of enhancement • Research Strategy: includes societal impact; RET; new Institutes
  12. 12. DMU Access and Participation Plan, 2020-21 (17/18 data) • 31.5% students (27.7%) from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (Polar4 quintiles 1 and 2) • Continuation gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students has disappeared, but attainment gap has widened • BAME: 52.8% (31.1%); continuation, attainment and progression had improved and is above the sector average (c.f. TEF Yr4 Workbook) • Issues for disadvantaged male participation and progression, and for Black/mixed ethnicity progression • BAME: 2018/19, the attainment gap on Freedom to Achieve programmes widened by 4.5%, compared against 9.4% on programmes not involved in Freedom to Achieve. • There is work to be done on value added vs aggregate data
  13. 13. • Access for disadvantaged male students; • Continuation across all students; • Attainment across BAME, disadvantaged, disabled and mature students; • Progression rate into employment or further study for black or mixed ethnicity students; • Progression rate into employment for disadvantaged male students.
  14. 14. • Strategic approach to EDI; embedding data review processes to enable faculties to evaluate and monitor their own performance toward student lifecycle goals; • Influential projects and programmes launched to meet these strategic objectives; • Ongoing institutional activity that forms part of our deep commitment to WP and access for all; and • Commitment to undertake equality charters, with a strategic aim to achieve a REC silver award by 2022-23.
  15. 15. DSA + OfS + TE(SO)F + HERA + Equalities Act HESA data for 2017/18: 17.8% of DMU students had a declared disability (sector = 14.6%). Continuation amongst disabled students and students with no known disability is similar (90.2% and 91.1% respectively). Disabled students have a marginally higher rate of continuation and better progression at DMU (vs sector), but worse attainment.
  16. 16. 1. Make clear the interconnections between UDL, FTA, Athena SWAN, ULTAS and research-engaged teaching, to create an enhancement-focused, pedagogic environment. 2. Mechanisms for sharing good practice and case studies will amplify engagement. 3. Need for co-created, student engagement strategy, focused upon academic practice and the student experience. 4. An integrated evaluation of all technology that supports UDL, in order to shift the focus away towards enhancement.
  17. 17. NB in relation to who is included. • UDL for whom? • Performative or non-performative systems and structures? A reductionist approach? "The wall gives physical form to what a number of practitioners describe as ‘institutional inertia,' the lack of an institutional will to change" (26) “Diversity is regularly referred to as a ‘good’ word precisely because it can be used in diverse ways, or even because it does not have a referent.”
  18. 18. FTA focuses on reducing the BAME attainment gap. DMU as CI on an OfS project to address barriers to student success. Value-added metric and an inclusive curriculum framework. ICF:  Create an accessible curriculum;  Enable students to see themselves reflected in the curriculum; and  Equip students with the skills to positively contribute to and work in a global and diverse environment
  19. 19. Inclusive Curriculum Framework UDL L&T Audits Good Practice Case Study Co-Creation Workshops Review of University Infrastructure Evaluation
  20. 20. UDL/ICF handouts what are your thoughts of this framework, in relation to your curricula? what are your thoughts of this framework, in relation to your practice?
  21. 21. Co-creation events with 142 students: Relationships, Teaching & Learning, Community, Development, Employability and Exclusion. Student baseline survey with 233: 45% unaware of the attainment gap; 54% unaware of the project; 75% felt reflected in their learning experience. Students of Pakistani, Caribbean and ‘Other White’ heritage were most likely to feel unrepresented within their learning experience. 55% felt they had not experienced changes that had resulted in greater inclusivity: content; methods; materials; assessment; feedback. Staff baseline with 44: 77% heard of the attainment gap; 80% made changes; 64% use the UDL review template; differential engagement with FOC.
  22. 22. Programme-level co-creation Student Curriculum Advisors (SCAs) : • Providing BAME students’ perspective on course materials • Collating BAME student voice via small group sessions • Creating best practice curriculum co-creation guides Read to Debate Colour Full Reading Club (LLS) Ongoing evaluation: project; curriculum; staff; students
  23. 23. • Year One: understanding VA metric and ICF and how integration into existing practices (40 programmes); working with programme teams to explore their attainment gap data. • Year Two: implement curriculum change across 40 programmes. Engaging in co-creation with students. • Year Three: embedding changes in practice at both an institutional and programme-levels; culturally-inclusive practices considered ‘business as usual’.
  24. 24. Decolonising the curriculum is a familiar term within universities with differing degrees of engagement and action. This is where various universities have reassessed and modified teaching, learning and assessment methodologies and ideologies. However, DMU wants to go further than this and the remit of Freedom to Achieve by Decolonising the institution so we can be a fully inclusive and socially progressive university by tackling racial discrimination and disadvantage on a structural, cultural and individual level.
  25. 25. • Institutional: staff metrics; process review; communications/language; student data review; QA; appraisal; alumni • Staff: data literacy; CPD; curriculum development; Community of practice; toolkit • Students: Students’ Union; HEAR; Student Awareness; Unapologetically BAME; liaison; training • Library: collections; recruitment • Research Also: Working position paper
  26. 26. In terms of form, content, structure, organisation, issues, politics, whatever… Does this case resonate in any way? Are there any possibilities in your work? Are there any resistances?
  27. 27. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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