Professor christine hockings institute for learning enhancement university of wolverhampton
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HEA / UWBS subject conference Group Working June 20 th 2012. Active group w ork – making it inclusive. Professor Christine Hockings Institute for Learning Enhancement University of Wolverhampton. Academic engagement in groups. Approaches to learning.

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Professor Christine Hockings Institute for Learning Enhancement University of Wolverhampton

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HEA / UWBS subject conference

Group Working

June 20th 2012

Active group work – making it inclusive

Professor Christine Hockings

Institute for Learning Enhancement

University of Wolverhampton

Academic engagement in groups

Approaches to learning

Teachers’ approaches to & craft in L&T

Social & cultural background

Prior knowledge Ways of knowing

Life & work experiences

Teachers’ conceptions of students

Teachers’ knowledge & experience

Educational background

Aspirations & interests

Conjecturing & critiquing



Questioning & challenging ideas

Reflecting & evaluating

They are actively exploring their own and others’ knowledge, experience and backgrounds in a search for deep understanding, meaning and knowing

A key challenge is how to engage all individuals within a large and diverse group…

Benefits of ‘mixing’ student groups

  • maximises learning from different people, cultures, etc

  • develops interpersonal and team working skills

  • fosters peer support networks outside class

  • helps to establish relational equity between individuals

Challenges for teachers & students

  • Watch these video clips.

  • What challenges do the students and teachers face when coordinating and working within mixed groups?

  • What strategies could you adopt for addressing these challenges? What resources & support would you need? (20 mins)




Engaging ALL students in mixed groups

  • Create safe, inclusive spaces

  • Get to know students as individuals

  • Establish ground rules for collaborative learning

  • Harness students’ experience and knowledge

  • Start with what students know, then apply theory (biographical turn)

  • Connect with students’ lives and future aspirations

  • Facilitate uncertainty, confusion & difference

  • Encourage public articulation of thinking & problem solving

  • Teach reflexively and with sensitivity to differences

  • Mindful of impact of own beliefs and identity on student learning

  • Coordinate interaction, mixing different students (with a purpose)

  • Anticipate, prepare & respond flexibly to different and emerging requirements and interests

Becoming an engaging and inclusive teacher in HE

  • 3 units

  • Content, activities, forum, assessment, links to other resources, etc.

  • LTI video collection - Over 130 video clips in a range of subjects. All subtitled.

  • Module developed in Xerte for accessibility

  • Available via OU Labspace or via UoW website.

  • Down load and repurposing guide with video tutorial

  • Currently embedded in UoW

Learning to Teach Inclusively Module

References and links

Hockings, C., Brett, P & Terentjevs, M (2012) Making a difference – Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education through open education resources. Journal of Distance Education.

Hockings, C (2011) Hearing voices, creating spaces: the craft of the ‘artisan’ teacher’ in a mass higher education system. Critical Studies in Higher Education 52 (2) 191-205

Hockings, C. (2010). Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: a synthesis of research. York HEA.

Hockings, C., Cooke, S., & Bowl, M. (2010). Learning and teaching in two universities within the context of increasing student diversity: complexity, contradictions and challenges. In M. David (Ed.), Improving learning by widening participation. London: Routledge.

Perry, W. & Hockings, C. (forthcoming) Using LTI OER to support local academic development initiatives. Available from

OER module Learning to Teach Inclusively

OER Learning to Teaching Inclusively Project website

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