Inclusive Teaching Methods

Students enter higher education from diverse backgrounds bringing with them diverse learning preferences and life experiences. Inclusive teaching is designed for all students, both traditional and non-traditional.

General Guidelines for Inclusive Teaching

When designing teaching and learning strategies we need to consider the diversity of the student population.

Diversity can take many forms. There is diversity of: the student population (cultural, age, gender, disability, etc) and of learning preferences (visual learner, aural learner, read/write learner, kinaesthetic learner, multimodal learner etc).

This section will offer guidance on how to ensure that inclusive practices are incorporated into your teaching.

Overarching Principle: Clear and flexible approaches to teaching methodology and materials are necessary to meet the needs of a diverse student body.


Range of Teaching Methods - Who Benefits?

As all students have differing learner preferences, the use of varied methods will advantage all students. It allows for visual, aural, interactive, oral, practical etc. learning

The following are case studies of students who may have particular difficulties with traditional lecture- based teaching
Cases Issue Solutions for students
Mature Student While this students aims to attend all lectures sometimes this is not possible due to external responsibilities (e.g. child becomes ill and cannot attend creche). Pod casts, online forums, wikis, and other online teaching methods can allow the student to engage with the class at flexible times.
Student with ADHD Difficulties with concentration makes lectures difficult for this student. He also has problems note taking due to difficulties with short-term memory. Pod casts, online forums, wikis and other online resources can allow the student to engage with the class when and where they can focus.
Student with a difficult home life. Student find it difficult to maintain concentration on lectures due to anxieties about difficulties at home. Student can benefit from interactive teaching methods that sustain attention e.g. rhetorical questions, group work, questionnaires.
Student with a specific learning difficulty Student finds it difficult to discern the main points and the structure of arguments within a lecture. Student can benefit greatly from the use of audio visual teaching materials. Also group work and other interactive teaching methods may be of benefit.
International student Student finds it difficult to follow lectures in a foreign language and so misses vital points. Podcasts allow students to revisit lecture, forums and wikis allow students to engage at their own pace.


Action plan for lecturer

Offer a range of teaching methods and materials that students can draw on a variety of methods in ways that best suit their learning preferences, and circumstances


Using innovative teaching methods for effective student learning.

Dr. Patrick Geoghegan from the School of History and Humanities gives an example of an innovative teaching method he employs for students of History. You can also watch the teaching method in action at: Act of Union Debate - Student Re-enactment


Some general strategies to enhance clarity are:

  • Timely distribution of annotated reading lists.
  • Timely notice of assessment methods and deadlines.
  • Lecture handouts distributed in advance of lectures.
  • Ensure all teaching materials follow Accessible Information Guidelines.
  • Avoid jargon in materials.
  • Ensure all information is accurate and up to date.


Ensure there is alignment between learning outcomes and teaching methods

  • If learning outcomes are skills based, ensure teaching is primarily practical rather than theoretical.
  • Where is there a vocational element to a programme seek to link theory and practice through practicals, role playing, inviting practitioners to be guest lecturers etc.

Preparing lectures, workshops etc - A checklist of good practice (Word, 400kb)