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  5. Disseminating inclusive field teaching – sharing resources and practices across disciplines and institutions

Disseminating inclusive field teaching – sharing resources and practices across disciplines and institutions

Project leader(s): 
Trevor Collins and Sarah Davies
Theme: 
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Current

This project aims to promote inclusive teaching and learning across the field-based STEM disciplines. This will involve sharing and trialling approaches developed in other disciplines or at other institutions to enable students with disabilities to participate equitably in field courses. 

The OU is one of many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that have developed innovative assistive technologies and teaching methods to enable students with disabilities to participate in fieldwork. However, when used in response to the needs of individual students, these can become bespoke niche solutions rather than inclusive teaching practices that could benefit all students. By reviewing approaches across a range of inclusive field courses and related publications, this project will identify and test field teaching approaches, which can be mainstreamed to ensure field courses are inclusive and accessible for more students. 

The OU’s second level Environmental Science module (S206) and Earth Science module (S209) include residential field courses as well as optional field days. Rather than create further innovations, this project will focus on the translation and adaption of assistive technology and inclusive teaching approaches on OU field courses that have been developed in other field-based disciplines, such as biology, geography, geology, earth science and environmental science at the OU or at other HEIs. This project will therefore provide an opportunity to explore methods for translating scholarship to impact teaching and learning at the OU. The project will also seek to enable and empower module teams and field course teams to pilot approaches and adapt them for their discipline in the distance learning context.

The evaluative aspect of the project will explore what is valued by students and practitioners in terms of the educational outcomes and widening participation, and the effectiveness of methods for disseminating and translating scholarship across module teams.

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