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Diversity and Inclusive Practice
Tutorial session

Implications for practice

Universities are complex social environments reflecting the diversity of the population. Participation in university programs and activities should encourage students to be effective participants existing within the current diversity of society. Let your tutorial become a harmonious and creative group using the diversity of the participants to enrich the understanding of all. Adjust your pedagogical awareness to ensure all students have the opportunity to be involved, to the same degree, in the learning you have planned. Be prepared to adapt, modify and structure your teaching and learning activities if they are not ensuring broad participation of all students.

Your students will bring a wealth of diversity to your tutorial and will be able to contribute multiple perspectives when approaching a task. Thus there is academic enrichment in drawing on the skills and background of all students. Encourage students to bring an open-mind to all discussions.

When designing the learning activities consider the diverse background of your students and endeavour to see that none are disadvantaged. Check that examples used in your content do not include negative stereotyping.

Some international students may still be experiencing difficulty in managing a new language and may need scaffolding through this learning. When discussing topics within the tutorial, limit your use of acronyms and colloquialisms which are not part of the regular language and, therefore, not likely to be widely understood. If many students are experiencing difficulty with the language, you may need to simplify your English while retaining the professional standard expected at the level of tertiary study.

Ensure that you have given sufficient formative feedback for your students to confidently approach their assessment tasks, and that all students have a clear understanding of the criteria against which their work will be graded and marked.

Many of the strategies included in this online training program area designed to support/create a positive, supportive environment for students’ learning. Strategies such as: taking time to get to know students; providing a range of teaching/learning alternatives; modelling and supporting ‘expected’ ways of participation at university; and being attentive to your communication all contribute to the creation of an inclusive learning environment.

For some practical tips and ideas, have a look at these videos:

Other resources