Guidance: Designing Learning for Autistic and Neurodiverse Students

Designing learning for autistic and neurodiverse students

Collaboratively created guidance from the OpenTEL Open & Inclusive SIG, July 2020

Autism and neurodiversity

Autism and neurodiversity are labels used to describe people who have certain differences in the way in which they think and in the way they interact with society. Typically, people on the autism spectrum may be less aware of, bound by, aligned to or responsive to societal expectations or constraints. This different way of thinking can be an enormous strength, and some great thinkers and innovators are autistic. However, this can lead to challenges for autistic people, especially in settings like the workplace and education, where specific things are expected that might not align with an autistic person’s skills or abilities.

This guide aims to help raise awareness of some of the differences autistic people may experience, and to help educators design learning, activities, tutorials and assessment that can help autistic students demonstrate their potential on a more level playing field.  It was collaboratively created with autistic people (OU staff and students.)

Terminology

Language and terminology used to describe autism is highly debated, so we start with a note on the definitions and terminology chosen for this guidance.  Continue reading