Developing an effective learning environment in a highly diverse classroom


Last week I shared the first of my three case studies from my FHEA application, “From micro-management to effective supervision”. This week I want to share my second case study from that application, which discusses some of the challenges present in today’s highly diverse university classrooms and how I tried to address them. While the case study I’m sharing here focuses mainly on my experience as a module convenor with overall responsibility for the content, delivery, and assessment of a sequence of modules that were delivered to a mixed undergraduate and postgraduate cohort, similar challenges actually permeate most if not all areas of academic practice.

Personally, I first became interested in this topic during my first year as a teaching assistant, and I actually wrote one of my case studies for my Associate Fellowship application back in 2016 on facilitating active tutorial participation from conversion MA students with different academic and cultural backgrounds. Back then, I felt frustrated, because despite my best efforts at being engaging, encouraging, and supportive, there was a subset of students in all my tutorials whom I seemingly couldn’t get to fully participate, which I felt negatively affected both their own achievement on the module and the experience of the other tutorial participants.

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