#LTHEchat 40 with Debby Cotton @ProfDcotton on ‘Unconscious Bias’

This week we are delighted to have Debby Cotton to discuss ‘Unconscious bias’

Unconscious Bias in teaching and learning in HE

Bias is one of those things that all of us think we don’t have! Other people are biased, they may make judgements about people based on stereotypes but not us. And yet, there’s fairly clear evidence that pretty much everyone does this: At some level or another and on some topic or another, we have unconscious associations between groups and characteristics – and this can influence our decision-making without us being aware of it. So at Plymouth we have been doing some thinking about what kind of impacts this might have on teaching and learning in higher education, on our relationships with students and also with our colleagues. In this tweet chat, we will explore the issues further, and discuss what can be done to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias in HE.

If you are not yet convinced that you are affected by unconscious bias, have a look at ‘Harvard Implicit’ and run some tests. The fast-paced responses required aim to access unconscious connections rather than consciously-held views. You may be surprised by what you find!  https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html

Debby Cotton

Debby Cotton is Head of Educational Development and Professor of higher Education Pedagogy at Plymouth University. She is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), and a National Teaching Fellow (NTF). Debby has a doctorate in Environmental Education from Oxford University, and has published widely on a range of higher education (HE) topics. Her main research area is sustainability and pedagogy in higher education, although she has also published on the gender and ethnicity attainment gap, the experience of care leavers in HE, and research-informed teaching. Her work on unconscious bias evolved from some of the findings of the gender and ethnicity research. For a full profile and list of papers, please see: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/dcotton#

For more resources on teaching and learning in HE, including mitigating unconscious bias, see: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/teaching-and-learning/guidance-and-resources/7-step-series

The Storify is available here: https://storify.com/LTHEchat/lthechat-40-unconscious-bias/

If you are reflecting on this specific #LTHEchat please share your post with us so that we can reblog.

If you participated/are participating in any way in the #LTHEchat, please complete our short survey and let us know if you have other suggestions on how we could make the #LTHEchat more valuable for you. Thank you.

See you Wednesday, same time, same place 😉 – 8-9PM GMT #LTHEchat

The LTHEchat team


About Neil Withnell

I am a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing
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