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Evaluating the use of an Inclusive Curriculum Tool in STEM modules

Project leader(s): 
Diane Butler and Andrew Potter
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Current
Body: 

The development and implementation of the Inclusive Curriculum Tool (ICT) is one of a suite of measures the University is using to address issues around the degree awarding gaps which have been identified as priority areas in our Access and Participation Strategy (APS). The development of the ICT is influenced by the sector-wide decolonising agenda but goes beyond it in seeking to build inclusivity for all students.

The ICT's three principles are:

  1. Is the material accessible to diverse groups of students (not just in terms of accessibility for disabled students; in terms of the language and images used)?
  2. Will diverse groups of students see themselves reflected in the material?
  3. Does the material equip students to participate in a global and diverse world?

The project team received funding from PVC Students (20/22) to pilot the use of the OU Inclusive Curriculum Tool with a sample of STEM Modules in three Phases.

Theme: 

Evaluating STEM/FBL APP Virtual Internship Scheme

Project leader(s): 
Diane Butler, Andrew Potter and Catherine Comfort and Kristen Reid
Faculty: 
STEM and FBL
Status: 
Current
Body: 

The project team (STEM, FBL, Placements team in CES) received funding from PVC Students (21/22) to run a Virtual Internship scheme ring fenced for students drawn from the APP target groups. The first internships commence from March 22 onwards – 9 internal placements from STEM, 2 from FBL and some external placements with SMEs. The placements will end by 31st July 22.

This scholarship project will evaluate the scheme as planned, assessing the take up and enthusiasm for the scheme, the benefits to the individuals involved and to the institution in addressing its APP commitments to support entry into graduate employment for students with protected characteristics.

We would like to bring the evaluation of this project under the eSTEeM banner and request support in paying for AL time to undertake interviews, thematic analysis and other qual. and quant .data analysis in conjunction with the team.

Theme: 

Barriers and Enablers for Future Designers within the awarding gap at the intersection of Race and Deprived Areas

Project leader(s): 
Vera Hale, Clive Hilton and Alessandra Campoli
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Current
Body: 

Issue:

We are working on a new OU Design Qualification, and we want to create better real world situated personas and scenarios to develop the educational programme. A key research objective is to identify (perceived) barriers and enablers for people from a BAME and/ or deprived areas that might wish to undertake a design qualification. 

Approach:

The overarching scope of work is to highlight career development as a catalyst for accessing and attaining a design degree for our target participants. The OU EDIA change agents programme identified three research areas in the supporting gap for focus group at the intersection of race and social deprivation: Family and Support; Investment; and career development. We want to engage with these potential, future designers to understand their aspirations, and how we might elevate those through participation in design skill workshops for career development.

By these, we hope to unlock conversations around participants’ perceptions of design; what it means to them now and after the stakeholder engagement, so we can observe possible changes in their perceived barriers.

This bid would be a pilot project that sets the scene for subsequent expansion to foster an increased access to design studies qualifications.

Anticipated outcomes:

  • The development of realistic personas and scenarios of the future designers that genuinely reflect the social, economic and cultural realities of the target groups.
  • Raising the design and career aspirations of young people in our focus group.
  • Further develop the project paradigm and methodology for research continuation.
  • Raise the OU profile educational profile.

Impact on staff and students:

To improve our design degree offer for BAME students and those from deprived areas.

To strengthen course affiliation and improve retention. 

To raise broader awareness among OU (design) staff of the underlying barriers to progression to help inform their support.

Vera Hale, Clive Hilton and Alessandra Campoli poster

Theme: 

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