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A Framework to Diversify the Curriculum in Higher Education

Inclusive content, resources and assessment

Research Skills and Information Literacy

Pedagogy and an inclusive classroom

Embrace +1 Mentality

Building MultiStories is a collaborative process by academic staff, library staff and students to identify changes to curricula, to resources and to assessments that consider alternative epistemologies and diverse knowledge sources.

Embedding information literacy teaching from the library services into modules gives students the skillset to engage in this process. The result is the construction of an intellectually expansive and more pedagogically sound curriculum.

Led by staff and/or co-created by students

Include a diversifying curriculum statement, stating that your module is in a process of becoming increasingly informed and reflective of more inclusive content, that represents a diverse student population.

Consider a Diversity Curriculum Diagnosis (DCD), by assessing how much diversity is included in a module/programme in relation to content, assessment and classroom environment. UCL’s Inclusive Curriculum Healthcheck is a good starting point. A DCD could be adopted as an assessment type for students to complete and present.

Inclusive content, resources and assessment

Evaluate to what extent diversity has worked its way into the curriculum from content to assessment. All disciplines have the capacity to include, social, cultural and ethnic diversity within their modules.

Student-centred and staff-facilitated

Develop and assess the research skills and information literacy of staff and students to find, consider and utilise diverse resources by embedding skills-based training from the Library Services into the formal curriculum.

Establish, develop and sustain a diverse library collection as a way to engage staff and students with both the concept and the content, The Discover Diversity Collection is a living output of the Building MultiStories project, which will continue to grow through a Patron Driven Acquisition Model.

See the Liberate Our Library initiative at Goldsmith’s College, University of London (Goldsmith’s College, 2021) as another example.

Research Skills and Information Literacy

Staff and student collaboration

Include content, ideas, analogies, examples, stories and imagery that is culturally accessible and pedagogically robust.

Emphasise contributions from multiple theoretical perspectives and communities within the curriculum.

Embed structured opportunities through assessment for inclusive learning whereby students work with peers from a diverse background.

Connect learning to societal issues. For example, use the UN Sustainable Development Goals as context.

Pedagogy and an inclusive classroom

Ensure diversity of guest speakers in your classes.

Create a classroom environment for authentic dialogue and learning from difference.

Sustain diversity in the curriculum- championed by staff

Embrace a +1 Mentality by committing to changing one thing every time you deliver your module, by using the steps in this framework as a guide.

Embrace a +1 Mentality

Become an early adopter of diversifying the curriculum in your discipline.
Mentor colleagues within your discipline or outside your discipline after your experience of adopting this framework.

Share your learnings with the Teaching and Learning community.


Getting Started...

Let’s continue Building MultiStories in higher education.

Darby, Fionnuala and Dowling, Lindsay (2021) "Building MultiStories: Embedding the library services for inclusive teaching and learning in a diverse curriculum.," Irish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 9: Iss. 2, Article 8.

The Black and Irish Podcast

Dr. Katherine Haxton, ViCEPHEC21, Chemistry For All: Global, Diverse, and Fit for Purpose.

Fionnuala.Darby@tudublin.ie Lindsay.dowling@tudublin.ie