Learning to lecture to an increasingly diverse student body

McDermott, G. and McMahon, Michael (2013) Learning to lecture to an increasingly diverse student body. In: 6th Annual Learning Innovation Network Conference – Sustainable Models of Student Engagement – Rhetoric or Achievable? 17th October 2013 in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin., Dublin, Ireland.


The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (Department of Education and Skills, 2011) offers the view that as well as having an expertise in their disciplinary area there is a need for academics to have an understanding of learning theories and their practical application. The challenge of transforming best practice into standard practice is one which has to be faced by Higher Education in Ireland. This challenge is further complicated by the Increasing diversity of students in Higher Education in Ireland. As well as indigenous students from various Background s there is a significant cohort of International students which has been estimated at 32000 for the 2011/2012 academic year. (Enterprise Ireland, 2012). One of the means by which these challenges are being met is by the provision of the modules ‘Creating an Inclusive Curriculum’ and ‘Supporting an Inclusive Curriculum’ (both LIN Academic Professional Development Modules recently piloted in Athlone Institute of Technology). This paper discusses the experiences of the Authors as a lecturer on these and other LIN APD modules. The experience of the lecturer as a student on one of the modules is also addressed as is their experience in delivering a 5 ECTS Credit module entitled ‘Technology in the Classroom’ to a class composed entirely of International students. The aim of the presentation is to increase awareness among academics of the issues surrounding accessibility in Higher Education and foster discussion on the devices which may be used to enhance the experience of an increasingly diverse student population.

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