Integrating Inclusive Assessment with Inclusive Teaching: Learning from the SOAS experience

Dr Angus Lockyer, Associate Director of Learning Environment and Student Outcomes & Carol John, Learning Advisor, Disability and Neurodiversity Coordinator: SOAS.

Presentation slides

Description: At SOAS, we take a social justice approach to attainment and recognise that attainment gaps are produced by a complex intersection of factors. Working on any one of these may or may not bring intended benefits: the evidence is beginning to suggest that rather than there being a magic bullet, successful approaches need to use a whole institution framework.

We found ourselves developing several standalone tools to tackle different elements of the learning and teaching experience: a decolonisation toolkit; unconscious bias training; and inclusive assessment labs.  But we found ourselves struggling both to understand and explain to colleagues how they fit together, but also to deliver them effectively given competing priorities and staff workloads. The last is key, given that we are trying not only to include but also inspire and energise academic colleagues.

We have therefore brought the three tools together to provide a holistic approach to inclusive teaching.  The delivery team, which includes both academic and professional service colleagues, thus has to integrate various perspectives and approaches in a way that is understandable and actionable by colleagues.

In this session, we will present a brief overview of the SOAS story so far – the challenges we face and the solutions we have developed – highlighting the way in which inclusive assessment can spark and be integrated with broader curricular and cultural change. We will then workshop a case study – a transdisciplinary, cross-departmental programme in Global Liberal Arts, convened by the presenter – asking how we might further develop inclusive assessment within a curriculum that foregrounds student choice. We will end by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of our current approach to inclusive assessment, in light of the conclusions of the workshop and the experience of participants at their own institutions.