Deakin University — Inclusive Curriculum and Capacity Building (ICCB)
Deakin University’s Inclusive Curriculum and Capacity Building (ICCB) program has enabled more than 25 projects to transform curriculum and develop a stronger university culture of inclusive teaching and learning over the past three years. The HEPPP funded program has brought together academic and professional staff to work closely on a range of initiatives, each identified by the partners themselves.
Informed by Universal Design for Learning principles, each project has aimed to embed and scaffold inclusive pedagogy and practice, academic skills and literacies, and digital literacy into the curriculum at unit and course level.
- internally with all faculties
- Institute of Koorie Education
- Deakin Learning Futures
- Library, Student Academic & Peer Support, Careers Education.
The Inclusive Curriculum and Capacity Building program supports students from diverse backgrounds, particularly low socioeconomic status (SES). It aims to develop awareness and appreciation of diversity as a valuable resource.
Inclusive design, development and delivery of curriculum addresses the learning needs of our diverse student population. The program builds a more inclusive approach to curriculum, and supports staff to manage the challenges and opportunities this presents.
Activities and Progress
- Faculty of Health ‘Inclusive Feedback’: The first project formed a community of practice with academics and sessional staff and surveyed students to develop an inclusive feedback model and resources, run professional development workshops, and pilot video feedback. The second project, still underway, surveyed academics and inclusion experts to develop a model of inclusive feedback. The team has also submitted for publication a literature review on video feedback in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning at Deakin University.
- Faculty of Arts and Education ‘Introduction to University Study’: A team of Equity and Diversity, Faculty, Library, and Academic and Peer Support staff collaboratively redesigned this accredited unit in late 2014. The partners continue to team-teach the unit across three campuses and online to large cohorts of students. An evaluation of the new curriculum was conducted in 2015, and the evidence gathered was used to further improve the unit.
- Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment and Graduate Employment ‘Start Anytime’ Work Integrated Learning units: A team of staff developed online units to support more than 2,000 students each year prepare for and complete work placement. The ‘online flipped classroom’ design streamlines students’ progress and feedback. The fully accessible units include built-in pre- and post-tests to continuously evaluate learning.
- ‘Perspectives’ online role-play: The Library worked with student designers and faculty staff to develop an online role-playing interface and activity. This can be re-used in multiple units with customised content, to help students develop digital literacies using resources and ideas relevant to their discipline in an accessible, engaging and collaborative way. The template has been trialled in two faculties, with further customisations underway for multiple units in the remaining faculties.
An ongoing action research approach is used to ensure that achievements are highlighted, continuously improved and sustained into the future. Student statistics, surveys, web log data, focus groups and interviews are used to identify student impact, successful practices and models, and systemic issues.
- For example, the Introduction to University Study retention and success outcomes for the 2015 unit cohort include:
- pass rate increased by 7.5 per cent for all students; 13 per cent for low SES; 10 per cent for Non-English Speaking Background; and six per cent for students with disability
- students had a 10 per cent greater pass rate in other units they studied
- students had a seven per cent greater retention rate to the end of 2016.
The other successful practices and models have been similarly scrutinised. Most initiatives are ongoing, having been embedded in curriculum and professional development.
Some have attracted further funding. Evaluation suggests that the ICCB program has produced systemic changes. Faculty teaching and learning planning documents are now listing explicit inclusive teaching and learning goals. Several recent program and course redesign documents have included inclusivity goals. At least six staff employed casually for ICCB projects have been retained as permanent staff and continue to apply their knowledge of inclusive design and teaching. Many project leaders have leveraged their ICCB work to develop inclusive curricula in other units and courses.
The ICCB program grew out of several independent HEPPP funded projects initiated by faculty and divisional teams beginning in 2011. Equity and Diversity combined these in collaboration with professional staff to create the ICCB program. This has multiplied opportunities to share ideas, resources and evidence around inclusive teaching and learning, and has deepened relationships between academic and professional staff. A major effort is now underway to disseminate learnings, models and exemplars widely:
- Equity and Diversity have just launched a comprehensive ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’ website for all Deakin staff, showcasing fully accessible web design and including inclusive teaching tips, exemplars, resources and discussions. This builds on an existing successful university-wide online staff development module.
- The Faculty of Health has published its own Inclusive Learning Series to support its professional development program.
- More than 30 journal articles and conference presentations have been written/presented on ICCB initiatives/outcomes.
This case study was one of 35 featured in the NCSEHE’s 2017 publication Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Seven Years On.