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Step 1

Step 1. Determining the rationale: ‘Why bother?’

 

What are the results of this step?

  1. A first general overview of the reasons why the programme will work on (further) development of diversity-sensitive teaching and learning.
  2. A decision on the scope of the scan and improve process (the full degree programme, one year, one learning track, the entire curriculum or particular aspects of it, et cetera).
  3. A decision on the composition of the core team that will provide follow-up to the process. It is desirable that the core team comprises the coordinator of the scan and improve process, the Director of Studies (or coordinator of the section of the programme being examined), two or three coordinators of the core programme, one or two students and a content expert in the field of diversity and education. The core team may also be formed by the Programme Committe.

 

Who is involved in this step?

The coordinator of the diversity scan and improve process, of course, and someone with the authority to made decisions on the curriculum, such as the Teaching Coordinator and/or the Director of Studies. In addition, it is important for this step, that staff and students be involved who have a good overview of the programme or programme unit and a good understanding of what happens in the formal, informal and hidden curriculum (‘hands-on’ experts). Finally, colleagues with experience in the field of diversity should participate as well. These people form the provisional core team. Following this step, a decision is taken on the definitive composition of the core team.

 

What happens in this step?

One or two meetings are held. First of all, the coordinator guides an exchange of ideas about the reasons for starting the process, the goal and the scope of the work on diversity-sensitive teaching and learning. Ensure that this is conducted in line with the vision of the university, faculty and/or programme with regard to diversity and that those present are familiar with the content of this vision.

Key questions for the exchange of ideas in the core team are:

  • What reasons (direct and indirect) exist for devoting attention to diversity-sensitive teaching and learning?
  • What indications (from students, from lecturers, from academic advisors) are there of problems or necessary improvements in the area of diversity sensitivity in our programme?
  • Why is the issue of diversity-sensitive teaching and learning important for our programme?
  • What would the ideal situation of diversity-sensitive teaching and learning be for our programme?
  • Will we focus on the programme as a whole or on parts of it (a particular year, a learning path, a block)?
  • Who should be involved in the core team for the implementation of this process?

Furthermore, it will be decided whether the scan and improve process will comprise the curriculum in the broad sense, or will initially zoom in on certain aspects. If a partial analysis is chosen, then the Quick Scan Programme Level can be used to help set the priorities. Working on the basis of the exchange of ideas about the reasons for and the scope of the scan and improve process, the process coordinator sets out the course for the follow-up. It is important that, following this step, the staff as a whole (teaching staff and support staff) are informed about when the process will start and what form it will take in general terms.

 

How much time is needed for this step?

  • One to two meetings, each lasting 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Elaboration of the meeting results, including a general proposal for the follow-up: one half-day session.
  • Timeframe (start – finish): two weeks to one month.

 

Tools

  • Format for core team meeting (in Dutch). Here you can access a programme for the core team meeting, with suggestions for work formats.
  • Quick scan program level. This instrument enables an educational programme to determine whether the scan and improve process will involve the broader curriculum or just focus on one or several aspects.
  • Format of report on step 1. Here you can access a format that helps you to create the report on the results of the meeting and the decisions made, together with the accompanying considerations.

 

Ideas or examples

  • VU Diversity Policy. Here you can access the key points in the diversity policy of VU Amsterdam (the web link is only available in Dutch).
  • Practically implemented Vision for Education. Here you can access the practically implemented Vision on Education of VU Amsterdam (the online brochure is only available in Dutch), developed by Know VU. Know VU is the VU Education Knowledge Network, set up by participants in the first edition of the Educational Leadership course and by lecturers who have obtained the Senior Teaching Qualification (SKO).

 

Tip: Consult the vision on education of your faculty and programme and find out how this devotes attention to diversity.

 

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