In my previous post, I tried to address some of my considerations on how the design of learning activities reflects the level of my respect to the diverse student body in Stratford and Bloomsbury campuses.
I really enjoy being in a position to support my Institution’s mission to “increase access … to flexible higher education through delivery of a range of new programmes in East London, where participation rates are among the lowest in the region” (Birkbeck College, 2009)
I realised that one way to achieve equality in learning opportunities was to be as much flexible as possible. I proposed to my team that we repeat sessions on different days of the week so that we create more learning opportunities for learners when our sessions overlap with their classes. This is indeed what we have been doing during the last two years.
I also realised that I have a special interest in promoting opportunities for learning for disabled students and those who due to their cultural background feel that the Higher Education is not for them. In order to boost their confidence, I approach their current level of skills with a more creative manner. For instance, I used my experience from when I first started using the mouse of the PC in order to help students control the mouse and feel confident. My line manager, again, was an invaluable inspiration as she reminded me that we learnt to manipulate the mouse by playing “solitaire”. How true!
Adult learners want to be taken seriously and obviously playing solitaire in the IT lab is not very appealing. It was worth the effort of being honest to students when I told them that I learnt how to move the mouse around after hours of playing “hearts”. While I challenge their perceptions of my authenticity, I persuade them to give it a try!
- Birkbeck College, 2009. Birkbeck College Single Equality Strategy 2009 – 2012. [pdf] London: Birkbeck College. Available at: <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/equalities/general/Single_equality_strategy> [Accessed 27 May 2012].