The authors report on a study that examined how academics in two faculties (Business and Science) at a large, research-focused university use information about student diversity to inform their teaching. Ninety-nine Science academics completed an online survey regarding their knowledge of their student cohort’s demographic, cultural, language, and educational backgrounds at the beginning of semester. They then received a concise two-page, course-specific document, Knowing Your Students (KYS) report, summarizing aspects of their students’ diversity. At the end of the semester, 44 of the same staff completed a second survey with open-ended questions regarding how they used the report information in their teaching and curriculum design. The report was new to Science while Business academics had received the reports for three years. To compare Science with Business, Business academics also completed the second survey. Academics across both faculties had a very positive response to the reports and engaged with the information provided. Provision of the report to Science academics brought their self-assessed knowledge of their student cohort’s diversity to a level comparable with that of Business. This chapter shares how KYS reports improved academics’ knowledge of student diversity, and challenged them to respond with suitable curriculum and pedagogical changes.
A Widening Participation Grant from the University of Sydney generously supported this research. The authors also acknowledge Kellie Morrison for her intellectual input.
Muir, M.M., Drury, H., Tarr, G. and White, F. (2019), "A Strategy for Enhancing Academics’ Cultural Lens: The Knowing Your Students Report", Hoffman, J., Blessinger, P. and Makhanya, M. (Ed.) Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 17), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 145-162. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120190000017011
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