School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

The Curriculum Task Force

What is the Curriculum Task Force? 

The Task Force is a student-led initiative which evaluates the inclusivity of three to four undergraduate modules per academic year. Our students evaluate the modules using a template which has been compiled drawing on curriculum evaluation work of other universities. Their remit is to review module content, resources and modes of assessment. In addition, the students interview each module’s convenors and gather feedback from the module participants. This initiative runs on a three-year cycle. 

Diversity, by lisamikulski
Seeking to challenge the western biases in our teaching

Image attribution: Diversity, by lisamikulski, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Curriculum Task Force Co-ordindator


Photo of Tara Webster-Deakin. She has copper hair and blue eyes.
Our aim is that the task force will evaluate three modules, one from each year, from each department. We want to embed inclusive approaches across the department’s teaching and learning and support colleagues to do this.
Tara Webster-Deakin, Curriculum Task Force Co-ordinator



In 2023-24, the Task Force examined two modules:

  • The Soviet Experiment (MLAC1161)
  • Inter-Faculty Mandarin 1a (LANG1014 UNUK)


Areas for development 23/24:

  • Ensure not too many tasks are allocated to Directed Studies week
  • Consider assessment modes outside of traditional oral and written formats
  • Ensure slides are not over-wordy or over-full of information - consider adding some of the content or information in another format e.g. handouts/ worksheets.
  • Scanned or handwritten materials score low for accessilbility - always try to use pdf format
  • If the prescribed content does not easily lend itself to diverse perspectives, authors or materials, effort could be made to find comparable international/diverse authors/materials/content and/or ensure ample time is regularly built into the curriculum to discuss broader perspectives and the absence thereof

Areas of good practice 23/24:

  • Use of study partners to provide peer feedback and build a learning community 
  • Availability of texts in original language and in translation (free to all)
  • Variety of sources e.g. posters, books, painting
  • Variety of assessment types e.g. essay, commentary, equally weighted
  • Materials are posted well in advance and additional support material available for students who may miss class or want to practice outside the classes

How is the Curriculum Task Force expertise shared?

Task Force students have presented and shared their evaluations as follows:

  • The bi-annual Open University Access and Participation conference.

  • University Breakfast Club annual seminar series.

  • Faculty ESE forum and CLAS School Away Day.

  • Co-authored an article for the Open University Lifelong Learning journal (in review).

  • Via a workshop delivered at University of Nottingham Teaching and Learning Tri-campus conference.

What the Task Force students have to say about their experience

Personally, I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in this initiative because it has allowed me to voice my opinions and express what I feel should be made a priority. More importantly, the most valuable part of this experience has been hearing other’s perspectives and considering opinions besides my own. Being challenged in our mindset or way of approaching things can be such a useful learning tool and it’s really the whole point of the task force.

Jesney, Year 2 student (2021)

During my time as an Inclusivity Ambassador, I got to step out of my comfort zoneand participate in events where I was talking about my experience at university infront of a huge crowd, which was something that I never thought I was capable ofdoing. What I liked the most about this experience, however,is the chance to get creative and voice my opinion on things that I would like tochange as part of my university experience. 

Mila, Year 2 student (2022)

Getting an Autism and ADHD diagnosis during first year kickstarted a process of learning about neurodiversity, in particular about the reasonable accommodations and adjustments that could be made but that I hadn’t previously had access to. I learnt a new language for expressing my needs, and came to realise that a lot of my struggles studying at university weren’t the result of a personal failure but of the inaccessibility of learning materials. Getting involved in EDI work offered the opportunity to turn my frustrations into meaningful change by voicing these concerns.
Hannah, Year 3 (2023)

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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