Five top tips for designing an inclusive curriculum

We need to make sure that the learning we create is suitable for everyone. That means we need to think about students’ needs and goals right from the start of the learning design process, and then design learning actitivies that
we know will meet these.

Use our top tips to reflect on your students’ needs and to design learning that will help all students meet their goals.

  1. Use data and evidence to inform student profiles, including students from underrepresented groups.
    Develop student profiles that represent all students. Refer regularly to your student profiles throughout the design process to ensure all needs are
    catered for.
  2. Use what you know about students to plan learning activities.
    When designing activities, talk to students about what they need. Ensure that learning resources and media are accessible and reflect the diversity of learners.
  3. Consider design challenges at the start of the process.
    Use prompt questions to generate discussion on how equality, diversity and inclusion will be addressed.
    Take a collaborative approach: it’s not just one person’s responsibility.
  4. Design collaborative learning activities with the diversity of learners in mind.
    Consider the barriers to taking part in discussion and collaboration.
    Provide appropriate support and encouragement for all voices to be heard.
  5. Ensure that learning tasks build up confidence and skills for assessment over time.
    Consider entry points to study and transitions as well as sticking points for students with particular challenges – where might extra support be needed?
    Clearly identify skills required and integrate them into the subject material so that learners from all backgrounds are equipped for study and life-wide learning.

Ten Twitter tips for the time poor

We’ve found Twitter to be a great way to keep up with research, share our practice and make new connections. However, we juggle tweeting with our daily learning design work, and it can easily become distracting and time consuming.
These tips outline the tools and techniques that helped us make the most of Twitter and keep it from taking over.

1. Live tweet from events.
This is a great way to make new and relevant connections. Use the event’s hashtag to find other attendees to connect with and discuss ideas during the event and after.

2. Filter tweets with free tools.
Use a social media dashboard to filter tweets from relevant people and organisations. You can also use it to schedule your own tweets. We find that free tools are fine.

3. Create lists.
Create lists of different groups of followers (ours include OU teams and external researchers). You can then filter content from these lists via your Twitter dashboard and see at a glance what people with similar interests are discussing.

4. Cut distractions.
Your Twitter dashboard will also keep distracting tweets out of sight – essential when strong opinions are being shared and time is precious.

5. Explore others’ Twitter lists.
People in your network may have curated lists of their contacts. If they’ve made these lists public you can view them via their Twitter profile and include them in your dashboard.

6. Save tweets for later.
Save interesting tweets and other nuggets of news to the drafts folder of your Twitter management tool. You and your colleagues can dip into this and share its contents.

7. Schedule posts.
Schedule posts when you know you’ll be busy so you can focus on the tasks at hand.

8. Don’t worry about repeating yourself.
This can feel awkward at first. However, tweets are ephemeral and, with an ever-changing Twitter audience, repeats won’t be obvious and will help you engage with relevant people.

9. Share the load.
If you’re part of a team, split the Twitter work using a rota and individual responsibilities. Two of our team members create content to share while others focus on engagement with followers. This means we’re working to our strengths and making the most of people’s time.

10. Use analytics.
Even a brief glance at your analytics will show which topics are of interest to members of your network.

Transcript: Planning the student journey

Key questions to ask

1 . Students

  • Who are your learners?
  • What is their starting point? What are the
    enablers and barriers to learning?
  • What outcomes do they need to achieve?
  • What will they do to learn?
  • How will you measure success?
2. Inclusion and diversity
  • What do you want the student experience to
  • How will you create a sense of belonging and bring students on a journey?
  • What opportunities will learners have to draw on and share their own experiences?
  • How will you embed wellbeing into the curriculum?
  • How can you offer flexibility and choice to learners in achieving outcomes and demonstrating their learning?

3. Skills development

  • What skills do students need to develop in order to learn effectively, build confidence and achieve their ambitions?
  • How will you contextualise and integrate skills into the curriculum?
  • What activities will enable students to develop and practise their skills, and prepare for assessment?
  • What activities will you include to enable students to make their own discoveries?
4. Learning community
  • How will you promote interactions with others and encourage learners to collaborate and find answers together?
  • How are collaborative activities structured, to aid the collaborative process and keep students motivated to complete them?
  • What support will students need before, during and after any collaborative activities or groupwork?
  • How can you build a supportive learning community on a shared journey?
5. Tools and technology
  • How will tools, technology and media be
  • What tools and technology are students already using?
  • Which tool or technology will serve your pedagogical purposes best?
  • How will you ensure the journey for students is smooth and avoids overload?

April 2021