Inclusive Teaching and Learning FAQs

What is inclusivity?

Inclusivity means designing and delivering higher education teaching and learning in a way that is meaningful, relevant and engaging to our diverse student body. See key issues in inclusivity for more information.

What does inclusive teaching and learning mean to students?

Watch our videos of Plymouth University students talking about the impact of their diverse identities and experiences on their studies.

Why is it my responsibility?

There are several legal, ethical and policy related reasons why behaving inclusively and fostering an inclusive environment through your teaching practice is an important responsibility. See our page on why is inclusivity important? for more information on your responsibilities and watch our student experience videos to hear about the positive impact inclusive teaching could have on students’ learning. 

How can I be more inclusive?

Becoming inclusive takes continual thought and reflection about how to best suit your context, subject and students.

To get started see our page on how can I be more inclusive? for a series of suggestions for inclusive teaching practices and case studies of good practice to see how colleagues have approached the subject.

If you are stuck for time, the quick advice guide is a good place to start.

What training about inclusive teaching and learning is available?

PedRIO hold seminars and events about inclusive teaching, learning and assessment throughout the year. Many of these are co-ordinated by the Critically Inclusive Pedagogies research group, led by Dr Suanne Gibson. Those undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) will also be introduced to key issues in inclusive teaching, learning and assessment throughout the programme. 

Specialist one-to-one advice can also be provided by departments such as Disability Services and Learning Development, who occasionally run bespoke training.  See our key inclusivity people for those with specific expertise on inclusive teaching and learning.

What have other colleagues done to teach and learn more inclusively?

In teaching often the best ideas come from learning from others. See our case studies of good practice to hear students and staff talk through how they have made their teaching and assessment more inclusive and for reports on inclusivity curriculum initiatives.

I am concerned about a student’s wellbeing, what should I do?

Students have complex lives and everyday stresses and anxieties can impact negatively on academic work and their enjoyment of university life. Try to make contact with the student to meet individually to discuss any concerns. However, if you feel that something more serious is going on, email the Counselling Service for more information on how to support students or see their information for staff pages and their guidelines for support in times of crisis

You may wish to inform the student that such help is available but do so sensitively, ideally in person.

I think one of my students might have a disability, what should I do?

If a student has not disclosed a condition, avoid making assumptions. The first port of call would be to contact Disability Services for more information on how to support students. You may wish to inform the student that this support is available but do so sensitively, ideally in person. 

I am worried about the level of my student's English language, what should I do?

If English isn’t the student’s first language, encourage them to contact the English Language Centre for tutorials, workshops and resources. If the student’s first language is English but they are still struggling with vocabulary, syntax and grammar, encourage them to make use of the services offered by the Learning Development team.

There may also be things you can do to support all your students to develop their language skills. Speak to colleagues in the English Language Centre and in Learning Development for more advice and download the 7 Steps to: adopting culturally inclusive teaching practices and the 7 Steps to: internationalisation.