Broad term – completely different populations lumped together Colour based barriers VS other differences- culture, religion Minority groups face different challenges- unemployment, Islamophobia, family pressure. In many cases, the only thing in common with ethnic groups is they do not have white skin Indian/Chinese students outperforming other BAME group students BAME English native speakers/ BAME EAL students (Sumeya Loonat, Lecturer English and Creative writing, DMU: FTA Team Talk 26/2/19)
As Fair Outcomes Champion for Library and Learning Services I work with programme teams and library staff to promote diversity in resources, environment, student and staff development. Although across the service scape, this work has influenced our information literacy teaching in both covert and overt ways. Working within the project’s four areas of focus Librarians have developed a more culturally competent approach to their work. These areas were identified through the research literature and confirmed through the project’s co-creation workshops with De Montfort University students and staff. Co-creation underpins much of the project work, with consultation with staff and students forming the bedrock of our interventions. This work has highlighted some co-creation practices and possibilities for the information literacy classroom.
Broad definition Include academics Leisure reading
This presentation will detail some of the approaches taken to enhance and acknowledge cultural diversity in teaching and learning. It will link with the other themes which impact upon student learning and attainment, both in a generic sense and at a more micro-level. The steps that Librarians can take towards enhancing and facilitating learning to close this gap will be considered. The talk will explore the common hurdles posed by the operational nature of H E information literacy teaching and reflect on Information Literacy Librarians’ sphere of influence in this area.
Is the diversity of our student body reflected in reading lists and our Library stock? Does this stock offer a range of culturally challenging views? Are there any hurdles to student access of the above materials? Is there an opportunity in LLS for students to interact with different student cultural groups? Does LLS use inclusive language in communications, guidance/instructional and promotional materials? Is there space in the Library for students to connect or draw upon their own cultural background?
Do you see yourself reflected in learning materials and reading lists? Are you able to access learning materials and resources? Do you have the opportunity to interact with different student cultural groups? Does the curriculum content expose you to a range of culturally challenging views? Is curriculum context written using inclusive language? Do assessments allow to draw on your own background? Do assessments allow you to develop practical skills?
Do you think LLS staff offer role models for our diverse student body? Is the Library environment welcoming? Is the LLS classroom/lecture theatre environment welcoming? In what ways does the Library space/environment reflect our diverse student body? In what ways do the library spaces and culture enable students and staff to feel a sense of belonging, connection and confidence?
Do you feel there are role models available to you within/related to your programme? Is the classroom/lecture theatre environment welcoming? Do you feel reflected in the spaces used for your programme teaching? Do you feel that your perspective is reflected by your programme team? Learning and living spaces on campus, feel and culture, enabling a sense of connection, confidence and belonging
Do you feel comfortable discussing issues of race and ethnicity in a) LLS and b) your team/department? Do you feel ale to interact with students from a range of backgrounds? Does LLS understand the diverse range of perspectives and heritage of our students? Do our students feel part of the Library?
Do you feel comfortable discussing issues of race and ethnicity in your programme of study? Are you able to access communication from your programme team? Do you feel able to interact with students from a range of backgrounds on your programme? Do you feel your tutors understand your perspective and heritage? Do you feel a part of your programme? Do you feel the overall culture of the programme reflects your own interests and priorities?
What skills does LLS help our students develop for further study and future careers? How does LLS support international students? Is this support appropriate or sufficient? What can LLS do to enable student confidence to develop aspirations/aim high and achieve academically and professionally? Are there any placements/work experience that LLS could/does offer ? How can LLS support careers?
Do you feel that your programme is helping you to develop skills for further study and your future career? Does your course offer placements and work experience opportunities (where appropriate)? Have you engaged with the careers and employability service? Have you attended any guest lectures on employability? What worked well? Do you feel confident in your ability to achieve on this programme? Academic and personal: Aiming high, liberating your possible and imagined self, Gaining the confidence to believe you can achieve and ensure you have the skills Giving the experience you need to open doors to the wider world.
Staff profile does not mirror our student cohort. However, more BAME students use the library, enter the space, use e-resources , attend workshops and seek help and support
Embracing cultural diversity - Towlson
Embracing cultural diversity to enhance information
Help and hurdles in closing the BAME Attainment gap
Academic Team Manager
LLS Fair outcomes Champion
In this session ……
Context: National and DMU
Freedom to Achieve : Fair Outcomes Champion (LLS)
Themes of focus and action
Hurdles and barriers
Help…..making a difference: skills, opportunities and voices
Questions and what can you do?
BAME attainment gap, achievement of good honours, well documented, national
phenomenon (Cotton et al., 2016).
DMU: Freedom to Achieve, OFS project, working to close this gap
Fair Outcomes Champions work with staff and students on 40 selected programmes to
identify, establish and disseminate good practice in teaching, learning, environment and
development to help eradicate the gap.
Co-creation at our core
Student Curriculum Advisors
Making a difference: LLS Fair outcomes Champion
• Work as part of project team, across University and
specifically with Library and Learning services (LLS)
• Awareness raising: workshops with staff
• Forum for discussion and sharing
• Read to debate
• FTA Team Talks
• Programme Co creation workshops
LLS: influence university
• Diversity in resources
• Reading list and validation guidelines
• Reading Lists…just beginning
• Leisure reading : Kimberlin Colour Full reads:
Insight into other worlds
• UDL and Co-creation: Images,
• Language and examples
Making a difference: Role of info lit
Information literacy : broadest sense
Evaluating: diversity, inclusivity
Academics and students
Being part of the fabric of LLS
Re-iteration of message in different places, different ways and
Different approaches, different services
Why do we need to do this?
BAME Attainment gap
Themes students have told us are important:
• These have implications for teaching and learning styles
• Feed in directly to student experience.
Themes: Teaching and learning
Decolonising reading lists: Academics and information literacy
Searching to liberate
Opening up Research process: bias of Dewey etc
Visible inclusion: images, voices, flip classroom
Be aware of language, “everyday” academic and specialised
Fit to submit (keywords, search strategy, evaluation/critical thinking, referencing)
Students see themselves as invisible, unknown, part of large cohort
IL often one off sessions
Can we make a positive difference here?
Offer opportunities to meet and mix?
Opportunity to share and listen
Friendly face of the library
Students seek opportunities to engage and integrate with peers across cultures and
What can we do?
Mix up groups
Gamification and escape rooms may establish comraderie and belonging
Time and context
Mentoring (Dare to be)
Critical thinking and analysis
Hurdles and barriers
• Fear of speaking out
• Awareness, acknowledgement and inclusion
• Reaction/ defensiveness/resistance
• “Tick box” culture/ authenticity
• Breadth of resources
• Breadth and boundaries of curriculum
Specific to IL sessions
• One off sessions
• Do not know cohort
• Need to establish benefit and context of
• Lack of diversity
• Connection and relate - ability
Help and positive action
Strategic and operational input
• Co creation and student voice
• Academics: bringing them on board
• Addressing the balance/decolonising the curriculum
• Information Literacy: Inclusivity broadens perspectives
• Be inclusive in images, examples, case studies, language
• Reading lists: diversify
• Professional Associations: Aspirations, balance and
In the “classroom”
• Recognition of difference and diversity
• Value and input of different lived experiences
• Opportunity to engage and mix
• Social learning (gamification, peer learning)
• Sharing experience: diagnostic
Steady process and progress
Incremental steps and champions
Reframing and widening the lens (decolonisation)
COTTON, D.R.E. et al. (2016) Understanding the gender and ethnicity attainment gap in UK higher education. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53
(5), pp. 475-486.
DHANDA, M. (2010) Understanding disparities in student attainment: Black and minority ethnic students' experience. Final Report [Online}. Available at
http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/equalopps/mdsummary.pdf [Accessed 12/11/18]
EQUALITY CHALLENGE UNIT and HIGHER EDUCATION SCOTLAND (2016) Equality and diversity in learning and teaching in higher education. Summary of
papers from Equality Challenge Unit and Higher Education Academy joint conferences [Online] Available at https://www.ecu.ac.uk/wp-
content/uploads/2016/03/Equality-and-diversity-in-learning-and-teaching-Full-report.pdf [Accessed 12/11/18]
MOUNTFORD - ZIMDARS, A. et al (2015) Causes of differences in student outcomes: Report to HEFCE by King’s College London, ARC Network and The University
of Manchester, HEFCE [Online] Available from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/23653/1/HEFCE2015_diffout.pdf Accessed [12/11/18]
STEVENSON, J. et al (2019) Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds,
Report to office for students [Online] Available from https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/understanding-and-overcoming-the-challenges-of-ethnicity-
targeting/ [Accessed 11/2/19].