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Belonging and programme/module development

Why is this important for belonging?

How programmes and modules are designed can support students’ sense of belonging during their time at university. Well-considered programme and module design can demystify the transition to higher education and a specific discipline, make explicit elements of the hidden curriculum, allow students to see themselves in what is being learned, increase feelings of legitimacy, facilitate the building of learning communities and the exchange of ideas, and support students in developing their disciplinary identities. All of this can translate to students feeling like they belong at university and on their programmes and modules of study.

What can we do?

  • Ensure learning and teaching materials are physically, digitally and linguistically accessible to students. Explore 'Inclusive teaching' for more information and other considerations of inclusivity in programme and module design
  • Ensure students have a clear and consistent experience of finding learning resources and information in Minerva across the programme . Explore Minerva: Staff guides for more information
  • Incorporate community building initiatives, which foster a sense of belonging, into our modules. For example, group or project work that enables meaningful connections through shared production  
  • Consider whether curricular practices dominated by Eurocentric voices. Explore our 'Decolonising' pages for more on considerations related to decolonising
  • Involve students in co-creating reading lists and suggesting items they’ve read   
  • Design student feedback mechanisms that are sensitive enough to capture views of students who may feel excluded from an element of their learning experience . Explore 'Responding to student feedback' for more information
  • Plan opportunities for formative assessment and feedback throughout the semester. This may include opportunities for peer feedback as well as tutor feedback. Explore 'Assessment and feedback' and 'Belonging and assessment and feedback' for more information