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Digital DIALogue Student Champion & online steward for UAL

We are delighted to announce that UAL DIAL expression of interest for the @HEAcademy Changing the Learning Landscape <workshop> project funding has been selected to proceed, updates will follow soon: 

UAL DIAL 2014 will be solely supported and funded by UAL internal funding. Over this period we aim to celebrate, embed, share, critique and raise awareness of the JISC DIAL project work carried out over the JISC funded period (Nov 2011 to July 2013). We also aim to lobby for further internal funding to continue DIALs digital literacies work beyond 2013. Please see project blog and and DIAL projects and activities. Please also see GLOSSARY OF TERMS & ACRONYMS for digital literacies at UAL.

DIAL are looking into funding to commission a ‘digital DIALogue’ student champion/online steward for UAL over a period of Two months (Feb & May 2014, reporting in June via project manager). The ‘digital DIALogue’ student champion/online steward would work closely with the UAL DAIL team to gain skills and knowledge to support and encourage other students to explore the wealth of online DIAL project resources and groups created over the time of the project. ­

With the one-to-one support and guidance of the DIAL project manager, the digital DIALogue students would disseminate the DIAL resources across the six colleges of the university with an aim of developing student communities of practice (CoPs) online and on site to grow and enhance current groups and create new student led CoPs.

“There was a growing feeling among project leaders that DIAL’s aim to produce ‘resources’ was worth exploring.  Among some there was a transition from seeing resources as handbooks or hand-outs towards seeing them as primarily residing within the new awareness and expertise of their communities, whilst also finding expression in certain online artefacts and practices.   This is reminiscent of the last of the common characteristics of the DIAL projects: their aspiration of making use of the differing levels of expertise within their target communities.” (DIAL Evaluation Report Duna Sabri October 2012).

The projects the ‘DIALogue students’ will focus on will be:

The Professional Online Identities project. The POI project will identify and develop specific digital literacies/hard and soft skills (Presentation and Relational skills) in maintaining professional online identities with the aim of enhancing student/graduate employability and industry readiness. And related projects:

o   Professional Online Identities programme: Up to date training programme, will upate and evolve as the project progresses.

o   Video presentation skills: This group aims to gather and share resources from all those interested in presentation skills.

o   Open and Flexible Learning group: This group aims to highlight the open practice of individuals and groups who share personal and professional practice online.

o   Copyright Issues: This group aims to bring together debate and support around all the copyright developments and issues relevant to ‘IPR digital literacies’ UAL practice.

o   Drupal UAL: The project aims to encourage and develop a new open support network for UAL staff and students to explore, experiment and share ideas and knowledge of using and developing Drupal ‘open source’ web environments and projects.

o   Digital Literacies in the arts: There are many different levels and types of DLs, these can be interest, discipline, subject, social, cultural, process and practice etc. specific.

o   Social media UAL: A social media group to try and bring all the different UAL social media groups together to share good practice and UAL social media vision.

To date DAIL have been working closely with staff and students and co-authors in the development of DIAL projects and groups. DIAL have made productive steps into influencing change and strategic awareness of DLs. Following the CLL workshop it was clear to me that we could encourage more student engagement to help influence and change local and developmental strategies, student experience is one of three strategic priorities for UAL for 2013 – 14.

Year one for DIAL was focused on senior management engagement and UAL strategy alignment - including UAL Strategic Development SMT meeting. In year two DIAL took a different approach in order to try and influence the small strategic objectives of central services, this localised and embedded approach to strategic planning/road maps was achieved through the experience gained from its projects and project teams. 

The project will raise awareness and evaluate use of the OER DIAL resources on offer to staff and students; it will also encourage a more balanced critical debate and approach to sharing good practice and integrating learning technology practice at curriculum level for staff and students.

The digital DIALogue students will encourage other students to explore and try out DIAL online resources by forming related CoPs around the DL resources and themes, they will also keep their CoPs well informed about up and coming training.

Benefits for the students involved also include: experience in open online practice, online stewarding and the development of participatory practice through CoPs. Students have an opportunity to directly influence the digital literacies institutional landscape, its development and direction, which will impact on their practice and the practice of others. 

This project will make best use of cross-college collaboration by bringing together a number of small self-managed specialist project groups (CoPs) including; staff, students, industry specialists, central services, course teams, expert groups and individuals as described above. All the resources and debates will be published openly on the web as with all DIAL previous work.

Students engaged in the digital DIALogue CoPs will benefit from all the open online resources of expertise listed in the project proposal section above including, open source web development, presenting and participating professional practice online/open digital citizenship, exploring issues of identity online, online presentation skills including presenting to video, IPR and copyright training videos and awareness and how to make the most of online learning communities and participatory networks. Those involved in these online activities could earn DIAL open digital badges.   

We would commission one student per college to ensure even representation, London College of Communication (LCC), London College of Fashion (LCF), Central Saint Martins (CSM) and Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of art (CCW)

Project will run for two months October & November 2013, reporting in December via project manager Chris Follows.

We would advertise the positions through our in-house Student enterprise and employability networks and also approach students who were involved in previous DIAL workshops, please see DIAL vox pops. UAL also have an in-house student temp agency ‘Arts Temps’ we can use to help employ and transfer the money to the students.

Related text/references

Lave, Jean & Wenger, Etienne. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press

Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice Learning, meaning and Identity. New Yotk: Cambridge University Press

Wenger, E. White, N. and Smith, J.D., 2009. Digital Habitats; Stewarding Technology for Communities. Portland: Cpsquare.

Snowden. D. Jul 11, 2010. The Cynefin Framework [online]   < > [Accessed 02 May 2013].

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This Work, Digital DIALogue Student Champion & online steward for UAL, by cfollows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.