BATL - Bias Aware Teaching and Learning

The pedagogical field of interest

The focus of the former Gender Aware Teaching and Learning SIG has been widened to address unconscious bias in all its manifestations which affect recruitment, teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation, hence the renaming of this SIG to Bias Aware Teaching and Learning (BATL).

We are prone to unconscious biases (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974; Kahneman, 2011). However, it is the very tacit nature of our implicit biases which makes it difficult to identify them and in turn change our practices. Unless we are aware and reframe our attitudes and behaviours, biases can influence our judgements and decisions on recruitment, teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation (MacNell et al., 2014; Moss-Racusin et al. 2012). The impact of unconscious biases is twofold: they can lead to unjust judgements and decisions (Swedish Research Council, 2012) and they limit novelty (Martin and Phillips, 2017), both of which contradict principles of higher education. These are compelling concerns for the quality of university teaching and learning, equality of opportunity for teachers and students and higher education’s openness to diverse and novel thinking and practices. In response to this need, the online resource Link Arrow is designed to provide relevant resources for teachers in higher education and includes Think Pieces, Practical Tools, Research and FAQs.

Description of the purpose and objectives of the network

BATL SIG will share, develop and experiment with strategies for raising awareness of our unconscious biases and reframing practices and attitudes in recruitment, teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation in higher education.

Through our collaboration and open workshops, we will add to the existing resource Link Arrow and foster bias aware and inclusive higher educational environments.

BATL SIG will facilitate access to empirical data and research studies on bias and university recruitment, teaching, learning, assessment and course evaluations, providing a constructive and supportive network for colleagues who want to engage with related research and or scholarly practice.

Proposals for how the group will promote its work to colleagues at Danish universities:

We will:

  • Share information about BATL, events, empirical data, research, literature and discussions via DUN.
  • Hold a workshop or seminar each semester, hosting them at one of our SIG member’s institutions or at  DUNs annual conference.
  • Welcome collaboration with other DUN SIGS and other related international SIGs.
  • Seek opportunities to disseminate BATL practices through publications, seminars and conferences.

Information about the contact persons:

Emma Hammarlund, guest researcher at the Institute of Biology (SDU) and researcher at Lund University, explore the evolution of multicellularity in Earth history.
Email: Link Arrow

I am interested in practical tools and strategies to avoid implicit bias in teaching and assessment, also in order to increase my ability to approach scientific questions in novel ways.

Donna Hurford, special consultant, at Centre for Teaching and Learning (SDUUP), SDU.
Email: Link Arrow

My particular areas of pedagogic interest include: developing intercultural competences, internationalising the curriculum, collaborative learning and addressing unconscious bias.  I am a cohort leader for the International Lecturer Training Programme and I offer courses and consultations on teaching, learning and assessment. My involvement with global citizenship organisations and initiatives reinforces my commitment to socially just educative practices and bias aware teaching and learning.

Emma Hammarlund or Donna Hurford

For further information please contact

Emma Hammarlund or Donna Hurford
University of Southern Denmark
Tlf.: Emma 6550 7981 or Donna 2117 7861