Why diversify?

Research, both nationally and at the University of Kent, shows that reading lists that consider the diversity of the student body improve engagement and help to develop key graduate attributes. A minor change to your course materials could make a major change to the way a students, or a group of students, responds to the course.

Our own work at the University of Kent on the Diversity Mark project has highlighted the importance of diversifying reading lists to help create a sense of belonging and increase cultural competencies. Our student success resources on Moodle (requires login) have tips and case studies from previous Diversity Mark award winners that should inspire and guide you in this work.

Whether you are applying for a Diversity Mark award or just want to take steps to improve the diversity in your reading lists, the library can support you.

Where to begin:

  1. Meet with your divisional librarian to help you find more diverse resources in your area or to deliver training to your students on topics like critical literacy.
  2. Watch our ‘resourcing your module’ webinar (50mins). This video considers the pedagogical and technical elements of creating a reading list that is diverse and inclusive for students.
  3. Look at the specialist library resources bought for their diverse authorship/perspectives. You can filter these by subject as well to find those most useful to your module.
  4. Journal articles can help to increase the diversity of authors but also allow for up-to-date commentators on a topic. Use citation indexes to find relevant articles to your area. Then try filtering by country/region of origin or institutional affiliation to find research from the Global South.
  5. Look at alternative academic publishers that highlight academic works from diverse authors.
  6. Go beyond written texts to include podcasts, film media and blogs that might present diverse perspectives or talking points for your teaching. The library has a collection of audio-visual resources that you can use in teaching.
  7. Look at best practices elsewhere. Colleagues at Kent and other educational institutions might have developed initiatives or resource lists in your discipline already.