Didactics and Diversity in University Teaching - DiVers© Mario Irrmischer
There are great differences among undergraduates in terms of age, country of origin, gender, and qualifications. Thus, the university instructors must be able to deal with this diversity in a professional manner, by recognizing discrimination, reducing prejudice, and facilitating fair and constructive cooperation.
Developing a Self-Assessment Tool
In the one-year cooperation project "DiVers", the University of Cologne and the IGaD developed a self-assessment tool, that helps university instructors reflect on and further develop their diversity competences. The tool focuses on strengthening instructors’ methodological, social and self-competences, as well as on university didactics that allow students to participate equally despite all of their differences.
DiVers is positioned at the crossroads between anti-discrimination and increased learning potential. Diversity cannot be glossed over; rather, it must be acknowledged and freed from hierarchical associations. Web-based e-learning tools help instructors recognize the wide array of student circumstances as an opportunity for high-quality teaching. From a diversity perspective, they reflect on their own professional behavior when communicating and interacting with students in teaching situations.
The project is based on a collaboration between the Department of Gender Quality Management at the University of Cologne and the IGaD. It was funded by KomDim, the center for competence development for Diversity Management in study and teaching. Naturally, the tool will still be available for use after the end of the project.