All community meeting, developing a plan for our findings
Main points from the meeting:
There needs to be more web training
There is a need for the staff to be aware of online resources and tools in order to pass this information onto students
More connections with industry in understanding importance of online presence and practices
Creation of a student run online learning environment 'Creative Online Identities' course supported by the university.
Summery of discussions:
There is a need to find a line between being a student and being a graduate. When your a student you can experiment and try things out without worrying about your presence. You need more that one platform, one where you can experiment with stuff, and use things to do with you course, and then one that you an present yourself as a professional. This is good for creating industry links when at university. If your doing it for your career you may want it in 'your world' not UAL's world. You may need help to make the transition from UAL into your own world.
From the first group of CSM; Press Play the students feedback was that they wanted the introduction to the digital environment from the start of their course, as a general and progressive learning transit.
One of the issues with learning about online tools and how to make things online is that it needs to be relevant and upto date so that it reflects the fast updating environment.
The group has decided to focus on six headlines that can be used as tags on the data collection and further website, in order to link information. These are as follows:
Industry insights - what the industry expects of an online presence, why is it important etc.
Web training skills
Online voice/presence -social media, student presence, twitter etc. blogging, visuals - anyway of expressing yourself online and leaving a trace.
Discipline specific - needs to make some of the advices specific to your discipline
Cross- discipline collaboration -
How do you present yourself in social media, what do you needs to do, how do people preserve you, etc. Each of the colleges has it's own twitter account that has a different 'voice' for each one reflecting the ethos of the colleges, or the individual who is posting.
There's a cross over in social media between presenting yourself as an artist, and presenting yourself as an individual. In the art world it may be important to present yourself as an individual and show off part of your personal life, but where do you draw the line on this cross over. At what point do you cut off part of your social life. There are some artists who will not post often on twitter etc, but others such as Dan Clones who will present a lot about yourself as a person as part of your art practice. It would be useful to have people with experience and an insight into this to talk to the students, or for this to be an aspect of the tutors practice that they share with the students and develop with them.
A hub for expertise is needed for the students to go to in order to develop their skills or get help with online practice.
At CSM they have 4D, it's is there technological centre. If you go there and say you want to be able to make an apps etc and they will help you. They said if you want to go in there and get help building a website etc, you should go in there with a plan etc and they will help you build it.
European drivers lincense, is a general basic introduction to ICT, is this possible in the university. This could be look at by introducing web standards, so by the end of the first year they need to know a certain level of knowledge related to online resources, and again at the end of the second year, etc.
It would be useful to have the very basic things to start with, like basic templates, html codes etc to give you a basic understanding so that you feel you can get a foot in and not feel so intimidated by it.
One issue the students have with the 4D workshops are that they feel very separate from the courses, it feels like something you can only go to as a private project.
Another issue raised was that because you don't have a proper web presence etc you aren't able to run things, such as a student magazine website. You would need something that is more student run, which could perhaps be done by having a community of student who can pass there skills and knowledge onto new students and continue the running. They would want the space to be set up by UAL but then given over to the students to run.
The next step in this project would be the creation of a student managed unit online, for students to help each other, and to ask for training in specific fields. So the students can say to the university, 'we would like training in this and this' instead of the university setting something up and then telling the students to turn up. We would be able to build a community where students could ask for the training that they feel they need for the university to reply and respond to. The outcome of this project could be a student run online identity forum that could ask and answer questions. This could run along side a physical hub in the university where people come along when they need to ask the questions that have come up on the website, and solve them. We would be able to bring in people form outside the university, alumni and current student and staff. To start with though, we need a plan for this website which can be developed in the last week of the sessions. This could ask things such as, to log in would you want to just use your UAL login, or do you want something personal so when you leave the university you can still log in. what level of engagement do students want with this?
We also need to consider with this project, why the current tools are not working, and then what would make students want to engage with this project? It takes time and effort to post a page or film yourself making a website etc, what would the student incentive be for working on this?
What makes it different from other tools is that it is student based, focused just on online identities. Firstly it would be run as a pilot and then once we see if this works and if the university is interested we can look further afield and develop collaborations. This project could turn into a MOOC (massive open online course) that is run by students, which doesn't exist at the moment. anything that we produce online, would be free and open for anyone to use.
It is however important to ask where does the incentive for posting on this website come from? there needs to be cross collaboration etc, so could one of the incentives be to skills swap, but in a way that is different from other sites, such as commonplace etc. The USP for this site would be the community set up, so you know that you can go onto this site and communicate with someone who you know you can talk to on the same level and relate to them. It would also give a platform for further learning and help, whereby you know you can contact the person and meet for further help, or book a workshop etc.
There could be a round table of experts to come in and answer student questions, in a 'question time' style. In this format, expert would come in and answer pre-collected questions from students and tell us about where the industry is going in the next five years in order to get an overview on the industry and give students the information they need to create an online presence and keep up with technology. Jheni from CCW ON POINT will be working on this as a proposal for future work.
All of the groups generally found that a lot more work needs to be done with the first years to get them into the idea of developing there online presence. This is especially important in courses that have an aspect of online posting in them. It is also, however, important to consider what happens when you are alumni. It was found at CSM; Press Play that UAL is such a brand and such a big identity that when you leave and are suddenly on your own it is hard. It would be good to have some sort of cross collaboration with alumni, whereby they could come into the university and get help from students, which would give the students experience in the industry, and also give the alumni students interns for there business or practice.
It was also found that it would be good to have collaboration through all levels of the university, through from undergraduates, to post graduates and research students. This would create a learning environment where all of the students can learn from each other and develop.
Specialist areas on the website would be useful for bringing in outside organizations, so for example if you brought in an organization like the Tate, this could come under fine art. with the use of metadata you can bring these pages together and develop a cross over of information and skills sharing.
David White created a framework for mapping your online life. You can be a visitor or a ecident online. There are two other cross over categories called personal and institutional. You use this to map your online life. Visitor is just going online to do something and then leaving without leaving any trace, so this may be online banking, or such like. The 'changing the Learning landscape' online identities groups will be developing there own maps to explore this.