To inclusivity and beyond: belonging and the educational power of difference

Wednesday 14 March 2018
12.00-17.30 followed by reception and networking with speakers and facilitators
South Kensington Campus

At an exciting time for Imperial, when we embark on an institution-wide project to review and redevelop all of our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, 2018's Education Day conference explored how we use this opportunity to make learning and teaching more inclusive, using ‘difference’ to generate challenging and meaningful learning experiences for all. Delegates spent a thought-provoking afternoon critically examining both student and staff perspectives of difference and inclusion, and considering strategies for nurturing belonging and equipping our students to actively participate in and learn from different experiences and perspectives.

Panopto recordings 

Watch Education Day 2018 on Panopto

Time stamps below are in the format (hour:minute)

Session one:

  • Introduction: Professor Stephen Curry (00:00)
  • Keynote speech: Professor Liz Thomas (00:10)
  • Student voice: Nick Burstow, Deputy President (Education) (00:58)

Session two:

  • Imperial College teaching showcase introduction (01:20)
  • Dr Andreas Kogelbauer, Department of Chemical Engineering (01:23)
  • Professor Sara Rankin, NHLI (01:42)
  • Dr Mike Emerson, NHLI and Department of Medicine (02:05)
  • Q&A with all speakers (02:30)

Breakout workshops

Dr Elizabeth Hauke and Dr Mark Pope, Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication

This workshop will encourage participants to think about desirable discipline- and non-discipline specific skills. How are these defined and how can they be built into learning and teaching in an inclusive manner that enriches the student learning experience?

The workshop will conclude with the brief presentation of a co-developed skill manual that we use in our Global Challenges courses to help students understand the relevance of different types of skill to their learning, and how they might use them to maximise their personal efficiency and potential.

Dr Julie King, Julie Hartill and Liz Chiu, Centre for Academic English

The Centre for Academic English’s pre-sessional courses support the transition of students into the College community and prepare them for the academic expectations of their chosen course of study. This workshop presents activities within the core strand of the pre-sessional that develop students’ academic language through a focus on scientific content. Working with academic language and scientific content in this way, and using an active-learning, inclusive-teaching approach, can provide students with the tools to master subject content and complete academic course assessments and assignments more effectively.

Mr Jim McCloskey, Business School

Freeriding, personality clashes and coordination challenges are well-known threats to effective teamworking. However, increasing cultural and linguistic diversity within teams assigned to credit-bearing coursework often brings additional challenges. This is especially true for students encountering very different people or academic contexts for the first time. This breakout workshop will present research into Business School students’ experiences of such challenges and suggest a range of practical tools staff may consider adapting for their own teaching contexts to encourage a student-led culture of inclusion within teams.

Mrs Kate Ippolito and Mrs Bianca Wilson, Educational Development Unit

Inclusive educational experiences allow all students regardless of their social or cultural background, gender or sexual orientation, physical ability or religion to thrive at University. Through a sense of belonging to the programme, department and/or institution, an inclusive approach supports students be their whole selves at University and take full advantage of opportunities available.  Inclusive practice is central to the College's Learning and Teaching Strategy requiring us to identify areas for improvement and evidence our successes. But how do we know where to focus attention, what works and whether our approaches are making a difference? This workshop steps participants through critically considering what can be measured in terms of inclusive experiences (or otherwise), recognising useful examples of research around inclusion and identifying techniques for evaluating impact.

Professor Roger Kneebone, Department of Surgery & Cancer

This workshop will explore how a diversity of expertise can enrich students’ experience and bring about new ways of thinking. It draws on Roger’s work with scientists, clinicians, artists and performers, exploring the ‘embodied knowing’ that is as important in the chemistry laboratory or the operating theatre as on the concert platform or in a sculptor’s workshop. Using examples from recent events at Imperial and other institutions, the workshop will challenge traditional ways of thinking and disrupt disciplinary silos.

Ms Alison Ahearn, Educational Development Unit and Miss Paulina Sekrecka, Imperial College Union

The Imperial Award is inclusive by design; our students take on a diverse range of activities whilst studying at Imperial but all are personally transformed by challenging experiences and therefore have the foundations for the Award. Our role is to help students recognise the power of reflecting upon these experiences, and realise the developmental benefits of the Award. This workshop introduces the Imperial Award, using scenarios and demonstrations to highlight the benefits of the Award and showcases resources for both students and tutors. We’ll look at the extraordinary richness of students’ different experiences including their experiences of difference.

Giskin Day, Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication and Matthew Douthwaite, Electrical and Electronic Engineering

One bag. One break in. Your science knowledge. Have you got what it takes? ‘Breaking Bag’ is an innovative activity developed as a result of a student–alumnus–staff partnership to generate educational escape games. This workshop is an opportunity to try ‘Breaking Bag’ as a fun and memorable way of learning and teaching science skills.