Week 10

  1. To what extent do you think you have achieved each of the learning outcomes for this week? If you think there is room for you to achieve these more fully, how could you help yourself achieve that?

In this week we learn about inclusive teaching and learning practice, in which we share our personal experience on inclusive teaching and learning with our peers and get their feedback on that. Inclusive teaching practice focuses on equity principal rather than equality, which is a good practice in HE. In inclusive teaching, focus of a teacher is to provide opportunity to all his students to perform well in learning and assessment. For this an approach is that prepare assessment practice which provide for all, but reflects the particular needs of a specific group (Robson 2005). Assessment and feedback must be designed in a way that every individual would be able to participate in it and perform well. Multiple type of strategies is here and those also provide support to understand the needs of special students and also students who belongs to another culture.

  1. What have you learned this week about inclusive assessment and feedback in HE?

Many of the students who did not get familiar with university life withdraw at the early stage and at the start of their sessions as some researches says that; “There is a strong relationship between the characteristics of students on entry and non-completion rates (Yorke and Longden 2004). The results of studies conflict (Johnson et al. 2003), which suggests that factors are specific to institutions and might be related to location, courses, student characteristics and other features. Failure to cope with academic demands, lack of familiarity with university life and difficulty adjusting to the middle-class culture of university are among reasons cited for withdrawal (Yorke 1999; Forsyth and Furlong 2000; Davies and Elias 2003; Yorke and Longden 2004).” One of another reason of this withdrawal is adoption of wrong assessment strategies which are adopted by different universities. Retention of student at early stages could be enhanced by personal networks, pre-enrollment and academic advices, student satisfaction with institute and sense of belonging. Other way to cope this is engagement of student in early stages with the course through induction activities study and assessment which linked to positive outcomes (Abramson and Jones 2003; Rust et al. 2003).

Early assignments are helpful in integrating students into academic like and develop good habits of studies in them (Cook et al. 2005). In implication of inclusive assessment, it is suggested that to conduct formative assessment and formative feedback where student can reflect and respond before their next assignment is important. It is better to avoid summative assessment at early point in courses (Yorke 2001b). Assessment and feedback strategies must be adopted that benefits all the groups of students who are different in their learning style, using different language and belongs to different cultures. Staff can contribute equal assessment opportunities by considering following points in their assessment and tasks: 

  • Reflection of multi-cultural nature of our community 
  • Avoid placement of people in stereotypical roles
  • Include positive images of different cultures and backgrounds
  • Reflect the contents of the module that has been followed?

Good and timely feedback is also playing an important role in inclusive teaching and learning. Feedback from tutor and feedback from peers both are important and supports in different aspects.

  1. How did you learn this? What supported you?

In this week readings we were suggested to read Bloxham, S. & Boyd, P. (2007). Chapter 10 of this book which was about supporting widening participation through assessment. In this chapter we learn about student retention, assessment strategies, equality and equity. We also lean how we can facilitate students with special needs in our assessment ways and how they would be able to adjust easily in that. Assessment that supports retention and achievement was also addressed in it. Equal opportunities in assessment practice that focuses on individual differences, range of assessment tasks, access to resources, inclusive assessment tasks, good and timely information, marking and prejudice in peer and self-assessment. 

  1. What have you learned this week about the practice of supporting student learning in HE?

Inclusive teaching and learning play a vital role in higher education. Supporting student learning could not be attained without inclusive teaching. Every tutor has to adopt inclusive teaching practices to get good results from students. Usually many students or group of students are under-represented at higher education level. Reason behind it may be cultural and social differences, students from different regions took time to adjust in a new environment. Many of them withdraw at early stages because of reasons; “Failure to cope with academic demands, lack of familiarity with university life and difficulty adjusting to the middle-class culture of university are among reasons cited for withdrawal (Yorke 1999; Forsyth and Furlong 2000; Davies and Elias 2003; Yorke and Longden 2004).” Inclusive teaching practices focuses on retention of student at university and develop the student interest in the relevant subject and also provide equal opportunity to perform and to show his ability without any difference.

  1. How has your understanding of this changed from doing this week’s topic and activities?

In this week we learn a lot more things about inclusive teaching and learning, before this week somewhere I was convinced that there is need to apply the inclusive teaching in my practice. But I was desperate because I was dealing with the students who had their schooling at their own countries and was attending university at UK. Their language was not the same, so I face difficulties to deal with them as same. But after reading the 3P (Presage, Process, Product) model (Biggs 1993) my understanding had completely changed. In which we learn that presage is important but the process and product can influence it. The background of student is important but it is has great effect on his learning that how a teacher explains things to him and how he help him to achieve his goals in a right direction, which can only be achieve when they both set together and discuss on it.

  1. What has challenged you?

Dealing with the students who had different study backgrounds was a challenge for me. But 3P Models helps me to solve this issue, as Jones (2005) suggests that assessment tasks and teaching can affect the learning outcomes. The most important thing while teaching the international students is clarity of explanation. Which means providing clear outline of what is required and aligning the objectives with teaching and assessment can help in this regard. “The Higher Education Academy (2013) outlines the international student ‘life cycle’ of pre-arrival, induction, the classroom, outside the classroom and employability and transition out.”

  1. What has surprised you?

Student engagement in the light of data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in the US and Australian equivalent, AUSSE defines student engagement and involvement in activities generate high quality learning. This survey was a surprise for me, traditionally we as a teacher are just focused on the learning activities and subject stuff but this survey tells the truth that involvement of students in all the activities and engagement with institute and teachers plays a vital role in this regard.

  1. What has this taught you about your strengths in your practice in supporting student learning, through inclusive assessment and feedback?

Inclusive assessment and feedback in supporting student learning is an important requirement. Inclusive teaching practice helps the students to reach to their goals. Assessment and task designed to target a specific group of students can help them to show their potential in the respective subject and focuses on equity rather than equality. Student engagement and involvement in learning activities are also important in this respect as Kuh et al. (2007), said helping students to engage fully in learning requires a combination of

  1. The time and energy a student put in educationally purposeful activities; and
  2. The efforts institutions put into ensuring effective educational practices (both inside and outside the classroom).
  3. What actions can you identify that you could take to further develop your practice in inclusive assessment and feedback in the future?

Inclusive assessment and feedback and all the learning about the topic gives me confidence that how I can deal with students who’s expectation and learning approach is different. This topic activities help me to think out of the box to reach out my students and help them to achieve their academic goals and runs with them in a right direction. Inclusive teaching requires improvement in teaching and planning of assessment and feedback strategies which will be fruitful for both the teacher and learner.