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Inclusive Learning & Teaching Guide

Top Ten Tips

  1. Check the accessibility of your teaching rooms – are there barriers to access/movement?
  2. Make yourself aware of any disabled students in your groups – consult Disability and Additional Needs Unit (DANU).
  3. Provide module/course information in advance (e.g. via Blackboard) – particularly new terminology.
  4. Face students and avoid covering your mouth when talking – this helps lip readers.
  5. Provide outlines of teaching sessions in advance – give prior notice re. materials and tasks.
  6. Repeat any questions asked by students – particularly in front-facing/large teaching spaces.
  7. Give clear instructions for any activities – verbally and visually if possible, to help a greater range of learners.
  8. Use sans serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica – with handouts in 12pt (minimum), PowerPoint 24pt (minimum).
  9. Use light coloured/cream paper – for hard copy documents, it can make text easier to read.
  10. Use images to break up text – but don’t crowd presentations or use too many gimmicks/colours.

Examples of inclusive teaching practices at Aston University


Information Systems Aston (ISA) has worked to mainstream assistive technology by installing textHELP Read & Write on student access PCs across the University. This product is the de facto standard literacy support tool in higher education.  Prior to the site-wide deployment of this product, students with literacy support needs could access it only on a few specific desktop computers in a few locations. The software is designed for people with dyslexia to support their reading and writing needs. Additionally, it can be helpful to some people with hearing impairment whose first language is not necessarily English. It provides a range of tools such as text-to-speech, word prediction and homophone checking. Read & Write integrates as a floating tool bar into standard applications like Word and Internet Explorer.
Jeremy Ali - ISA

The Virtual Pedagogy Initiative is a five-strand teaching project currently under way in the School of Life & Health Sciences that enables undergraduate students to learn in a fully flexible manner. The main aim of the initiative is to identify what the students expect in order to develop their own flexible learning and to identify the best way to deliver it. Over the years we have examined the best way to deliver lectures over a range of different methodologies such as podcasts, vodcasts, mobile telephony and even with remote, live video access to the specialist laboratories that we have on campus such as the functional magnetic resonance imaging facility. We have found that the students do expect the opportunity for flexible learning that is structured around their own day to day pressures.
Peter Reddy, Carl Senior & Jon Wood - LHS


Further Student Support Information

Learning Development Centre
www.aston.ac.uk/ldc
LDC Blackboard Module

Step-by Step Inclusivity Guide
www.bioscience.heacadamy.ac.uk/ftp/resources/shortguides/inclusivelandt.pdf

Equality and Diversity:

www.aston.ac.uk/staff/hr/equalops/

Equal Opportunities Policies & Code of Practice:
www.aston.ac.uk/staff/hr/equalops/policies
 
Aston Student Advice Point - situated in the foyer of the main building.
 
The Disability Team
www.aston.ac.uk/new-students/needs/
 
Student support
www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/studentsupport/

ISSU – International Student Support Unit
www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/studentsupport/issu/

Counselling
www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling/

Chaplaincy
www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/chaplaincy/

Finance
www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/studentsupport/fau/

All of this information can found on the Inclusive Learning Leaflet (printable pdf).

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