Competencies for Conversation: Assessment in Inclusive Education

By Heather Isabel Symonds.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In pursuing the delivery of a qualification for practitioners in Inclusive Learning, attempts to validate a diverse portfolio of work produced a fresh assessment- ‘The Professional Conversation’. This workshop aims to present the learning possibilities and outcomes of this evaluation. The presenters intend to offer their own considerable experience of inclusive learning and its contribution to diversity.

Skills in orality are offered to support the evaluative conversation as a culmination of holistic inclusive practice. Material has been adopted from the work of Symonds in offering the Viva Voce for undergraduates and interpreted by Crabtree in establishing an assessment framework for postgraduate students. The Inclusive Learning module is supported by the HEFCE Achievability project and is embedded in the MA Framework for Teaching and Learning skills at South Bank University.

Keywords: Conversation, Professional, Inclusion, Viva Voce Orality, Performance, Assessment, Discourse, Real Time, Teaching, Learning, Diversity, Difference

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.273-280. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.880KB).

Heather Isabel Symonds

Senior Lecturer/Dyslexia Coordinator, Faculty of Media, University of the Arts London, London, London, UK

My work has centred for 25 years on enabling students to access the curriculum, designing materials which demystify the curriculum and delivering with a sensitivity to a diverse audience. As a mainstream tutor of Humanities from ‘A’ level to Postgraduate level, I have supported non-standard entrants, now classified as students with diversity. My professional development led to my current post as an assessor, supporting students and advancing staff development. My doctoral research, fellowship and articles since 2005 have been dedicated to students with neurodiversity and the development of orality as an alternative vehicle of assessment. My nomination for a national fellowship is indicative of the support within my University, specifically Academic Affairs in disseminating strategies for diversity in Higher Education. My role as a representative on the Diversity Group within an organisation has been to promote equality as a positive force and to create policies which are proactive and supportive for the whole community.


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