The use of an Inclusive Curriculum Framework to close a BAME module award gap

Williams, Neil (2021) The use of an Inclusive Curriculum Framework to close a BAME module award gap. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 29 - 30 Jun 2021, Milton Keynes, U.K. (Held online). (Unpublished)


The BAME degree awarding gap in all UK Universities is well known. Nationally in 2018/9 the awarding gap between Black students and white students was 22.6 % with 81.4% of white students being award a good degree compared to only 58.8% for Black students (OFS). At Kingston University the development of an Inclusive Curriculum Framework has been an important aspect of addressing differential degree outcomes. The Kingston Inclusive Curriculum Framework can be applied at module, programme or institutional level and focuses on challenging staff to reflect on the extent to which their practices and content: • are accessible, • enable students to see themselves in the curriculum and • prepare students to contribute positively to a diverse world. These practices embrace some aspects of the decolonisation of the curriculum agenda. An introduction to Kingston Inclusive Curriculum Framework will be provided. At Kingston, the University provides data on BAME Module average gaps to help identify differential outcomes at module level. In this paper, how the University’s Inclusive Curriculum Framework guided work on closing a large module average gap for a first-year chemistry module will be explained. This module had the largest BAME module gap in the whole department. Research has shown that Active Learning in STEM Higher education benefits all students, but disproportionately benefits students from under-represented backgrounds (Freeman et al., 2020). In this module an eighteen-hour lecture/workshop unit was replaced by a Project Based Learning (PjBL) approach. This allowed students the opportunity to co-create the curriculum. For the assessment of the project work traditional unseen examination questions was replaced with a longer seen examination question based on the PjBL final report. In addition, the delivery, assessment and feedback of the practical programme was made more accessible by providing pre-lab demonstration videos and animations, and developing smart worksheets to provide support in and out of the class.

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