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Developing Professional Online Identities project details

DIAL, Learn-IT, CLTAD and SEE are developing a joint pilot project addressing Professional Online Identities aimed at UAL students and staff. The project will identify and develop specific digital literacy skills for developing and maintaining professional online identities with the aim of enhancing student/graduate employability and industry readiness. The project will focus on ‘hard and soft skills’ include webmaking, new media literacies, social skills/skills of groups to connect and share with each other in a participatory culture, citizenship and employability skills.

Project Summary: The project aims to provide resources, support, training and skills development in creating, developing and utilising professional online identities.

Project dates: Pilot 2012/13 full academic year.

Approach: The project team will collaborate with a 2nd year BA course including 5 staff and 20+ students. Staff and student mentors will lead 4 self-selecting groups:

  • Unaware – not familiar with professional online identities
  • Aware – familiar with professional online identities but not in practice
  • Starter – Starting to practice with professional online identities
  • Confident practitioner – developing professional online identities daily

Note: each of the project members will also align themselves in these groups.

The project will observer and support the integration, development and impact of digital literacy skills in professional online identities on:

  • Course profile, design, objectives, processes and assessment.
  • Institutional objectives
  • Student competencies and practice
  • Staff competencies and practice
  • Industry perceptions and needs
  • Student needs and expectations
  • Student employability

Explore the course/curriculum integration e.g. assessment or no assessment Peer assessment – self and peer (Adapt Lindsay Jordan’s blog peer assessment format)

Project Aims

  • More employable and industry ready students/graduates e.g. easier finding placements in final year and jobs/work post study, able to create and utilise professional identity, improved recording/presentation of creative work, enhanced skills, experience & confidence etc.
  • Enhance staff digital literacy, awareness and skills e.g. to embed digital literacy and skills within curriculum and student learning/experience.
  • Creation of a community of practice and peer to peer or mentoring structure

Objectives:  The project team will explore the challenges, limitations and benefits of students and staff of developing 'public' web identities/profiles e.g creating and maintaining 'public' online profiles for educational and professional practice. The project team will work with the course in developing professional online identities and capture patterns and processes we can pass on as resources or records of experiences for others to reference and benefit from. 

Project Outputs

  • Tailored training and related training materials e.g. presentations, training video, worksheets, guides
  • Online professional/digital identities resources for staff, students, graduate – available openly online process.arts, SEE website, Learn IT etc - e.g. tool kit, guidelines, case studies, videos
  • Project impact monitoring, research and evaluation – which could inform a strategy for wider roll out – potentially a 2nd year version of ISHE focused on Professional Identities for Post Study (PIPS).
  • Information and research on digital skills/experience employers and creative industries want and need and how they value or assess these in recruitment (this is dependent on project events and/or CCSkills/UAL employer research/survey)
  • Define online professional identities – mapping





Hard Skills (technical doing)

Work presentation skills

Web making (platforms/visability)



Soft Skills

Employer’s perspectives

Digital citizenship

Relational identity (twitter, forums, video, presentations, interviews)

Reflection on practice

Specialist knowledge, sharing in your field, communities of practice


Draft project plan




Staff training and bespoke staff/student online/recorded training – Learn IT & DIAL (Learn IT budget)

Student support/Student mentors x 4 - DIAL (arts-temps budget)

Staff project team x 4 (Tutor leader/mentors, Industry mentors)

External project team members x 2


Project team:


DIAL (Chris Follows) – Project manager, resource/training development, evaluation & research.

DIAL coordinators – (TBC) Project support and research

Learn-IT – Christine Kelly - Develop face- face and flexible (online) training resources also working on-site with DIAL

SEE - Katie Mills – Enterprise and employability integration

SEE - Laura North – online content (design, cluster, reference and package)

CLTAD – John Jackson – Support

Anna McAndrew (UAL alumni) – Test resources in practice from external perspective (student example) Project Support and research. Pull or identify examples/approaches.

Q-Art London - Sarah Rowles – Consultant and outreach

Cara Lee Roth – Consultant – curriculum integration

John Casey and Lindsay Jordon - Consultants



Summer 2012: Scope, plan and prepare.

Action: Project meeting with Directors of Learn DIAL, IT, SEE and CLTAD – ensure full buy-in and support, agree project plan/schedule and resources/funding. Assign roles/responsibilities, identify project coordinator/manager. Identify and contact trainers. Contact legal team re contractual needs i.e. project agreements relating to funding/ipads.

First term: Identify and recruit students and staff.

Action:  Promote internally/externally - Circulate project proposal/call to Course Directors/Tutors; College based meetings with interested staff/students; Select participants, agree terms and conditions, order equipment. Survey participants – aims and objectives, expectations, skills level & needs.

Approach: Initially we would like to test the use of main new in-house tools,, Workflow and process.arts technically for publishing work and process and relationally for connectivity, collaborating/community building. DIAL team will work closely with the course team and observe, record the use of the tools above in the first term through staff and student mentors and group feedback.

Project team and course to meet work out a plan for how we're going to work together to develop and implement the project. DIAL PM and coordinator will work around course schedules in terms of time and convenience. DIAL support will integrate with the course students and staff in an informal way as possible first (Seen as free staff/support, invited by course team to the studios to support/observer at specific times when students and staff are engaging with digital activities/problems) – At this stage its important we distinguish between what DIAL are doing and the formal support the course is getting for tools offered by CLTAD e.g workflow and online assessment training etc.  

Second term: Training and resource development

Run training e.g. 1) Professional/industry speakers on professional identities, role within creative industries, recruitment, industry etc 2) technical training, tips and tools e.g. devises, platforms, social media, images 3) self promotion, how to present yourself online, enhancing your employability etc; Create a community of practice and framework for peer to peer and/or mentor support.

In term two (and to July 2013) the project team hope to support the further development and use of online tools, processes and skills. We aim to integrate and develop the (technical and relational) aspects for developing professional online Identities including process.arts, social media, professional online communities, online rich media presentation, Industry online collaborations etc (rough list will be informed and extended as we learn more form term one student and staff needs.)

Develop and design a pilot MOOC with specific pathways for bespoke training in this field. Process.arts/SEE and Learn IT (collaboration)

Funding proposal based on developing the MOOC above. Project team will apply for funding similar to this call ( ​applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the lifetime of the fund, until 30 December 2013. We could all contribute to the forming of the bid over the next two months with an aim of submitting a final agreed bid in January?

The two themes that jump out are:

User generated content and social media: harnessing the power of the internet and social media to reach audiences and to give them a platform for discussion, participation and creativity.

Education and learning: developing interactive education and learning resources for children, teachers, young people, adult learners and arts sector professionals

The bid would look at developing a generic/bespoke and structured open online course site that makes best use of all the open content we have being generated in our user generated sites. We could put a strong collaborative bid together with DIAL, CLTAD, Learn IT, SEE etc... to build a platform that supports the creation of bespoke ‘unique’ pathways feeding from projects and resources needs identified and generated in DIAL, commonplace, SEE and process.arts etc.

Action: Liaise with trainers, set dates, room bookings, participant communication, deliver training sessions.

Third term: Feedback, evaluation and dissemination

Action: Feedback/evaluation meeting with DIAL, Learn IT, SEE and CLTAD (and others). Review impact and value of wider role out and half day event involving industry, project team, staff, students).

Required Resources

  • A Project Manager (Chris Follows) and/or individual college coordinators (e.g. SDO’s or participating college tutors?)
  • Trainers – internal/external industry/Associate lecturers
  • Training programme, content and materials for bespoke training sessions
  • Digital device per participant (tbc either all ipads or a variety of devices)
  • Digital and ‘professional identity’ mentors and/or platform for peer to peer support.
  • Online community space.


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