Supporting equitable and inclusive learning at City, University of London

by James Rutherford,  City, University of London, UK.

The Digital Education team within City’s Learning Enhancement & Development department, has implemented a series of interconnected projects that have transformed digital education for City’s Law School. This initiative is focused on providing a comprehensive and cohesive learning experience for the School and their students. Key to this has been inclusive learning design in video, hybrid teaching, digital accessibility, digital literacies, and using learning analytics to guide curriculum design. These projects align with the university’s vision and strategy 2030 and a commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion.

This work highlights what can be achieved when a university educational technology and multimedia unit brings together several projects to support equitable and inclusive learning. The breadth of activity within the team goes beyond that of a traditional Digital Education department, and we hope, an example that will inspire other universities to consider how they can expand their work. In addition, the focus on how City have worked with the Law School provides a unique perspective of benefit to legal faculties in other institutions.

A key feature of our work is how the team have connected a number of projects to provide a holistic and coherent offer to staff and students. Such as putting good inclusive learning design at the centre, we can ensure that best practice around digital accessibility is included, that equitable features of digital literacy are considered, and that City Law School utilise the benefits of learning analytics to inform curriculum design and support for students.

Digital Accessibility

  • LEaD City continues to innovate in creating media-rich, high-quality accessible resources of high quality for the Law School.
  • Building awareness and allyship for disabled students and neurodiverse learners is explicit in this approach.
  • Investment in human-corrected captions to ensure the accuracy of complex legal terminology to enhance comprehension for students with English as a second language and to enable access for students using transcripts or alongside assistive technologies.
  • All online modules are checked and scored for accessibility and Law School students can convert course materials into a range of alternative formats.

Masters of Law (LLM) Programme – Hybrid Teaching

  • Support of inclusive and active learning, following a hybrid teaching approach for the Masters of Law programme. This provides flexibility by enabling students to join the programme as either on-campus or online students and greatly extends our reach to new audiences, assisting with widening participation.
  • Training and detailed guidance and pedagogical support provided to all teaching staff and Law course officers.
  • Recruitment and training of student Co-pilots in their role in enhancing the hybrid learning experience for LLM classes.

Multimedia Project – Law Student Written Journey

  • Creation and production of a comprehensive multimedia student-focused project.
  • Emphasis on providing an inclusive visual guide to the Law Student Written Journey.
  • Creation of an accessible project designed to enhance understanding and engagement for undergraduate students.

Videos for Solicitors Practice Programme (SPP)

  • Production of a series of scripted videos for the SPP, featuring professional actors in courtroom and solicitors interview room scenarios.
  • Emphasis on the inclusivity of using scenario videos in legal education.
  • Video resources highlighted the impact of visual learning on student engagement and equitable experiences.

Student Digital Induction Process for SPP

  • The student-led digital skills team worked in partnership with academics to develop a tool for other students to assess their digital skills for studying at City, later adopted by the Law School and informed by feedback from students.
  • The bespoke version was developed in collaboration with the Solicitors Practice Programme (SPP) course, who use the tool to help Law students understand the digital skills required for their future careers.


City’s Digital Education department were awarded the ALT Team of the Year award in 2023 and recently, the UCISA Supporting Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Research award in 2024.


James Rutherford,  City, University of London, UK