Checklist for Inclusive Postsecondary Teaching

To help postsecondary instructors ensure that they are teaching in an inclusive manner, Plymouth University in the United Kingdom has produced a useful checklist, adapted from one by Monash University in Australia. The checklist is divided into the areas of planning, the learning environment, teaching methods, teaching materials, and assessment and feedback.

When planning, postsecondary instructors should ensure that learning objectives are clear and align with course content. The complexity of tasks should increase throughout the course. The physical learning environment should include ideal lighting and acoustics and minimal distractions. Seating arrangements should be flexible to accommodate diverse needs, so students can see, hear, and sit comfortably.

Diverse teaching methods should be used in postsecondary settings, including lecture, small group discussions, pair work, and individual work. Charts, diagrams, and pictures will help some learners, and others will benefit from a glossary of terms for each lesson. Ideas should be linked together, complex concepts described in a variety of ways, and a summary of the lesson provided. When appropriate, using simple language can help students who may have learning disabilities or who are not completely fluent in the language of instruction. The instructor’s face should always be visible so, for example, students with a hearing impairment can also use visual information from speech reading.

Electronic copies of handouts and recordings of lectures will help students study in different ways. Presentation slides should not be too visually busy. Their text should be of a readable size with good spacing. A range of assessment measures should be used and the purpose of these should be clear. Student feedback will further help instructors to create deliver courses that allow students with a variety of learning needs to learn optimally.

You can read the full checklist here and explore some of Plymouth University’s other resources related to inclusivity here