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Bias-aware Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Bias-aware Teaching, Learning and Assessment

AUTHOR : By Donna Hurford and Andrew Read Edited by Joy Jarvis and Karen Smith

ISBN : 9781914171895

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 16, 2022

Extent : 104 pgs

ISBN : 9781914171901

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 16, 2022

Extent : 104 pgs

ISBN : 9781914171918

Edition No : 1

Publication : May 16, 2022

Extent : 104 pgs


This book offers university teachers informed and practical strategies for raising awareness of bias in teaching, learning and assessment practices. 

Conscious and unconscious biases influence judgements, perceptions, decision making and actions, and societal awareness has now turned the spotlight on how higher education (HE) is addressing bias at institutional and individual levels.  The urgency to do so is evidenced through recent studies which reveal the extent of the effects of discrimination and exclusion experienced by individual students, groups of students and members of staff. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to sustain effective impact to achieve inclusion, equity and equality of opportunity. This book offers informed and practical strategies for raising awareness of bias in teaching, learning and assessment practices and provides approaches to eliminate, limit and mitigate the negative effects of bias on university students.



Chapter 1 Structural and institutional biases

Chapter 2  Interactions

Chapter 3 Course design and content

Chapter 4 Learning activities

Chapter 5 Course assessment



Donna Hurford is an academic developer at the University of Southern Denmark where she leads on the lecturer training programme, teaching about collaborative learning, addressing bias, integrating sustainable development goals, assessment and questioning. She has a background in school teaching and later pre-service education at the University of Cumbria.

Andrew Read is Head of the Education Division at London South Bank University. He previously taught in primary schools in east London, worked as a university lecturer in the field of education and was head of primary teacher education at the University of East London. 

Joy Jarvis is currently Professor of Educational Practice at the University of Hertfordshire and a UK National Teaching Fellow. She has experience in a wide range of education contexts and works to create effective learning experiences for students and colleagues. She is particularly interested in the professional learning of those engaged in educational practice in higher education settings and has undertaken a range of projects, working with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally, to develop practice in teaching and leadership of teaching. Joy works with doctoral students exploring aspects of educational practice and encourages them to be adventurous in their methodological approaches and to share their findings in a range of contexts to enable practice change.

Karen Smith is Reader in Higher Education in the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research focuses on how higher education policies and practices impact on those who work and study within universities. Karen has worked within educational development and on lecturer development programmes. She holds a Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy and is currently the Director of the University of Hertfordshire’s Professional Doctorate in Education. Karen also leads collaborative research and development in her School, where she engages in externally funded research and evaluation and supports the development of scholarly educational practice through practitioner research.

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Your Reviews on this book

"This concise book is packed with useful information which enables readers to apply theory to practice in considering how bias operates particularly in the context of higher education. The authors know this context well and share a commitment to enacting the values of social justice through their longstanding practice in teaching and learning. Their subtle and informed approach invites readers to think systematically about how bias might operate strategically, systemically and at an individual level within the academy. Critical questions and practical examples provoke readers to examine bias within their own institutions and interrogate their own practice with a view to making changes informed by a heightened awareness of what bias is really about...This is a powerful and important text..."

Dr Nicki Martin Professor, London South Bank University

“This is a book for all of us who suspect we have some unaddressed bias in our academic work and would like to do something about it. Structured around a series of dialogues on situations in which you often find yourself as an academic, the authors identify and describe not only the situation and the possible biases within them but also show ways to address and reflect upon them; both being firmly based on up-to-date and relevant research. To think and act in an unbiased way, the first step is to become aware of your biases and this requires you to be open and willing to reflect. Without condemning or blaming you this book helps you to be open-minded and reflective of dialogues with yourself and colleagues on bias-aware practices.”

Rie Troelsen Head of office Faculty of Humanities, University of Southern Denmark

"Bias-aware Teaching, Learning and Assessment is a valuable and timely contribution to an under-researched topic. Written by experienced practitioners, this very readable text builds on authentic coaching conversations to explore how conscious and unconscious bias permeates learning and teaching in Higher Education Institutions (HEI)...Overall...(it) is a scholarly, accessible and intensely practical handbook that will appeal to all readers with an interest in examining their own practice and that of their Institution."

Dr Debbie Simpson Lancaster University Management School
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