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Student engagement explores how students engage with learning and are encouraged to commit to their studies. It’s about developing independent learning and making the most of contact time.


 Microaggressions in the Classroom


Inclusive Induction Transcript

Hello! My name is Claire Sutherland. I’m head of the teaching excellence and student outcomes team here at Northumbria University, and also a professor of politics.

As we all prepare for induction, here are five things to think about making it as inclusive as possible, followed by five practical suggestions.
1.            Start with yourself: how do you present and how will you come across to students? What messages will you be sending out before you even speak? As an academic you are clearly in a position of authority. If you are white, for example, what initial impression does that convey about the University?
2.            Consider each student as an individual with their own expectations and fears, unique backgrounds and experiences. There is no need for you to second guess these. Is there a way to elicit some individual perspectives from the outset?
3.            What can you do to break down barriers between you and the students, and among students?
4.            Be alert to your body language. Are you acknowledging all contributions positively and equally? How do you know – could you ask for peer and student feedback on this during the coming year?
5.            Familiarise yourself with microaggressions. We highly recommend watching the first few minutes of this video, which has lots of real-life examples as told by students themselves.
Here are five practical suggestions to make teaching more inclusive from induction onwards.
First impressions last, so if you spend a 30 minute induction lecturing to students, that will shape their expectations of university. Do you need to lecture? Can you get the information across in a more interactive or even playful way?
For example, ask each student to write one question they have on a post-it note, then spend the session responding to a selection of these, only referring to slides as necessary.
How is the room laid out? Are you the ‘sage on the stage’? If so, can you come down from that pedestal and shift the focus to students as participants?
For example, ask a question like, where would you go to find study resources? Get students to discuss the answer with their neighbour. Move round the room for a few minutes before eliciting answers from students you have overheard and you know have something to say.
How will you put your students at ease and avoid making them feel left out? Induction may be a rare opportunity for you to bring students together before friendship groups are formed. Can you think of an inquiry based, small group activity?
For example, go to the library together and find three sources on a given topic to present back as a team.
Induction involves students being exposed to a torrent of information. They cannot hope to retain it all. Is there one key thing you need them to remember (for example, where to access module resources as they need them?) Can you devise a way to make that stick?
For example, get them to find a resource for themselves on a device, perhaps shared with their neighbour, rather than just pointing them towards it.
What impression do the programme team want to convey to welcome all students and make them feel included? Have you discussed this? How can you flag additional support available for particular groups?
For example, can you involve 2nd or 3rd years in the discussion and ask them what they wished they’d known as freshers? Include their past experience and have first years start out by learning from their peers.

Inclusive Induction

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