A new interactive Equality and Diversity eLearning programme (LEAD) will allow staff in the university sector to consider their role in building an inclusive environment. The LEAD programme was launched by Minister Fergus O’Dowd (Wednesday March 21) at a joint Irish Universities Association (IUA) Equality Network and Equality Authority event supported by the Workplace Diversity Initiative led by the Department of Justice and Equality.
Developed by six of the Irish Universities Equality Network member institutions, TCD, DCU, NUIG, UCC, UCD and UL, in conjunction with Aurion Learning, the aim of the LEAD project is to introduce a tailored eLearning programme covering all nine grounds of discrimination under Irish Equality Legislation as part of a blended approach to generating mainstream staff engagement with equality and diversity issues in the workplace.
The LEAD programme is a self-paced modular learning tool that features an intuitive navigation system with core content split into five modules of learning. Module topics cover ‘Understanding diversity’, ‘What’s it got to do with you?’, ‘From compliance to commitment’, ‘Recruitment and Selection’ and ‘Dignity and Respect’. Each section contains video and multimedia stories and scenarios including interviews with university staff and students, interactive games and quizzes, and online instant assessments to offer staff valuable feedback on their learning. By using this interactive and multimedia resource, staff will have the opportunity to consider and reflect on the part they play in building an inclusive culture across the university sector.
Delivered online, one of the key elements of the LEAD programme is the development of tailored content that addresses issues unique to the third level sector. The eLearning programme can reach a wider audience of approximately 16,000 staff in the Universities and has the potential to be rolled out to other institutions in the higher education sector. The LEAD programme was part funded by the Equality Authority Equality Mainstreaming Unit and by each of the six participating Universities. Recently LEAD was awarded Outstanding Achievement in the category of Most Innovative Use of Technology at the IITD National Training Awards.