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FASS Disability Initiative Seminar Two: Curriculum and Course Design Dr Leanne Dowse (SSIS) and Dr Brooke Dining.

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Presentation on theme: "FASS Disability Initiative Seminar Two: Curriculum and Course Design Dr Leanne Dowse (SSIS) and Dr Brooke Dining."— Presentation transcript:

1 FASS Disability Initiative Seminar Two: Curriculum and Course Design Dr Leanne Dowse (SSIS) and Dr Brooke Dining (DSRC)

2 Seminar contents Key messages Characteristics of inclusive curricula Hints for designing inclusive curricula Inherent course requirements What to include in course outlines A note on assessment choices Next lunchtime seminar Seminar evaluation

3 Key messages You do not need to lower the academic standards of a course to accommodate the needs of a student; HOWEVER you need to be flexible in regards to the way in which the program is delivered and assessed. The Disability Discrimination Act through the Disability Standards for Education requires institutions to take reasonable steps to enable the student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability. An adjustment is reasonable if it balances the interests of all parties affected.

4 Key messages (cont) Well designed courses provide the opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to access, participate and succeed. They build on the life experiences and differing points of view of students to enhance the learning of all students.

5 Characteristics of inclusive curricula Flexible, drawing on a variety of teaching, learning and assessment styles. Ensures learning experiences of comparable quality for all students. Course materials and online components are accessible and available on time to allow equitable participation. Capacity to adjust course components to meet the needs of students without compromising academic standards. Ensures that students know what and how they are expected to learn, that is, they are told or can accurately work out it out for themselves.

6 Hints for designing inclusive curricula When designing curricula, ask yourself: How does my stuff impact on the course design process? Acknowledge and challenge your own experiences, values, biases, prejudices and assumptions about the content, the learning process and the students. Who will be delivering the course? Ensure that they are adequately prepared and are aware of power relationships, gender and diversity issues and inclusive teaching strategies.

7 Hints for designing inclusive curricula (cont) When and where will the program be delivered? Ensure that groups of students are not excluded, all students can seek assistance if needed and learning management systems are accessible. What do you want students to learn? Include multiple perspectives on the topic, include the voices of the people concerned, choose a variety of examples and case studies, use inclusive language and ensure that course requirements are clearly stated. How will you know they are learning it? Ensure that the formative and summative assessment/s built into the program are equitably implemented and recognise the impacts of cultural differences on understanding.

8 Hints for designing inclusive curricula (cont) Who will be taking the course? Get to know your students, their backgrounds and monitor their progress, anticipate any disability related needs in the course design. Which activities will facilitate these students in their learning? Include a variety of teaching methods, ensure that course materials are accessible to all students. How will the course be evaluated? Ensure that diverse students have the opportunity to input into the evaluation and redesign of the course; do particular groups of students drop out early or perform poorly?

9 Inherent course requirements What are inherent course requirements? Inherent (or essential) requirements are those that students must pass in order to complete a course. They are those components which if removed or substituted would substantially impact on the learning outcomes. Determining what is a core requirement is often difficult but it is only when these are clearly defined that questions about whether adjustments can be made to meet the needs of individual students can be addressed.

10 Determining inherent course requirements In determining the requirements for a course it is important to be clear about: What are the key learning objectives; and How students will demonstrate achievement of these learning objectives. It is also useful to clarify whether the course uses any particular methods of instruction (e.g. participation in an online task or fieldwork; forms of assessment e.g. formal examinations; or has any other requirements e.g. attendance requirements).

11 Hints for determining inherent course requirements The following questions may assist in identifying which course requirements are inherent: Would the learning outcomes be substantially changed if a particular requirement were removed or substituted? Is there any particular impact of the requirement on people with disability? (e.g. participation in field trips may be more difficult for a student who uses a wheelchair).

12 Hints for determining inherent course requirements (cont) Have changing circumstances, practices or technology made a previous requirement redundant? (e.g. the capacity to physically lift a patient is no longer required by nurses as lifting aids are available). Could the learning objective be achieved by an alternative requirement that would have a less discriminatory impact? (e.g. Could students complete an oral viva rather than a written paper in order to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic?)

13 Hints for determining inherent course requirements (cont) What is the pedagogical purpose behind a particular requirement, how does it achieve that purpose and are there other ways of achieving this? (e.g. Are formal examinations the best or only method to assess particular learning outcomes?) If a requirement involves a particular skill, is it the actual skill that is required or is it the application of knowledge to the task? (e.g. is it necessary for a chemist to conduct an experimental procedure rather than have the knowledge to instruct another person to do so).

14 Hints for determining inherent course requirements (cont) Are there alternative ways that students could demonstrate that they meet the learning outcomes? (e.g. time limited exams require students to work under pressure in addition to them demonstrating their knowledge).

15 What if a student is unable to meet the inherent requirements of a course? If the student is unable to fulfil the core requirements of the course after reasonable accommodations have been made it may be reasonable in these circumstances to reject the student's application. Remember that it is not wrong to do this if it is done fairly but you must demonstrate that you have consulted with the student, considered all possible adjustments and sought expert assistance incoming to a decision.

16 What to include in course outlines Be EXPLICIT about: Overall aims of the course Attendance requirements Learning styles used in the course Assessment criteria Online or software-specific course requirements Practical classes, field trips, work experience (if applicable) Physical and sensory requirements Learning support available By doing so, this makes it easier for a student to determine the reasonableness of any accommodations that may be required.

17 Next lunchtime seminar: Course delivery and learning activities including online learning Thursday 27 August 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Rm 211 Lunch included


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