This chapter explores a set of principles that underpin ensuring that the learning needs of all students are addressed in next generation learning spaces. With increasingly diverse higher education environments and populations, higher education needs to move from seeing student diversity as problematic and deficit-based, to welcoming, celebrating and recognising diversity for the contributions it makes to enhancing the experience and learning outcomes for all students. The principles of Universal Design for Learning (CAST, 2011) provide a framework for high-quality university teaching and learning, as well as guidance on the multiple methods and means by which all students can be engaged and learn in ways that best suit their individual styles and needs. An inclusive approach is important pedagogically and applies to both the physical and virtual environments and spaces inhabited by students. When the design of physical environments does not incorporate universal design principles, the result is that some students can be locked out of participating in campus or university life or, for some, the energy required to participate can be substantial. With the digital education frontier expanding at an exponential rate, there is also a need to ensure that online and virtual environments are accessible for all. This chapter draws on the relevant research and the combined experience of the authors to explore an approach to inclusive practices in higher education next generation learning spaces and beyond.
We would like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this chapter.
Larkin, H., Nihill, C. and Devlin, M. (2014), "Inclusive Practices in Academia and Beyond", The Future of Learning and Teaching in Next Generation Learning Spaces (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 147-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-362820140000012012
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