What is inclusive practice?

An inclusive teaching approach reflects the aim of all good teaching: to develop practice and assessment which is effective for all learners.

What distinguishes an inclusive teaching approach from ‘just good teaching’ is its understanding of, engagement with, and attitude towards diverse student cohorts.

At RMIT, students bring with them a wide variety of variables. You may find in your program and your individual classes that these variables or dimensions may include, but are not necessarily limited to, age, gender, life experience, nationality, cultural and linguistic background, sexuality, religious practice, health and medical conditions, disability, citizenship status and financial situation.

Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others.

- (Hockings, 2010)

Recognising the multiple identities, needs and entitlements of each individual student, and achieving maximum inclusion for all learners, is a complex task and one which cannot be left to chance. In an inclusive approach to teaching, educators need to:

  • Identify any potential or existing barriers which may accidentally or intentionally exclude or discriminate against individuals engaging and succeeding in their studies and choose resources and strategies to include all students
  • Offer learning experiences which recognise all students as individuals within a ‘diversity of learners’
  • Recognise that a diverse cohort enriches the learning experience of all learners

Principles to support inclusive practices have been developed by the Inclusive Teaching and Assessment Project team alongside teaching resources.