Online identities projects at UAL
Over the past three years the DIAL project have been working closely with staff and students exploring aspects of ‘online identities’ e.g. the extent in which we engage or not with our ‘presence’ online and the challenges faced in understanding, supporting and developing online presence.
2013- DIAL 'POI project': worked closely with CSMs Performance Design and Practice programme area, including its course director, staff and students. Together we looked at the challenges faced in understanding, supporting and developing online presence at course level. Our progress was documented in the Professional Online Identities group (POI) on process.arts.
- Developed a pilot programme with the course staff and students: Spring & summer 2013 pilot programme
- Developed a second pilot programme, this time with the students only, outside the course schedule based on the finding below: Term One: November/December 2013
2014 - Changing the Learning Landscape 'CLL project': In 2014 we carried out a wider scoping project as part of the HEA ‘Changing the Learning Landscape’ (CLL) with staff and students across all UAL colleges. We shared what we learnt from the previous project with 4 student community developers who were each asked to build on this work and develop their our communities of interests around the topics of online identities within their college. Project documentation, reports and related links can be viewed here.
POI project headline findings:
- Lack of support: Little or no support in online practices at course level
- Course integration: We found difficulties running/fitting in this training with busy course teams and department staff
- Awareness: Students & staff would like to be more aware of this practice
- Students would like this training: Students across all years preferred and appreciated being asked/supported and encouraged into developing their digital skills and practices in this area
- Face-to-face and online tutorials/training: Students felt they would like a mix of both.
- Defining DLs and competencies: needs to be an agile on-going process
CLL project headline findings:
- Web making: There is a need for more information on how to build your own website.
- Course integration: The communities felt that information about establishing an online identity/presence was important and should be part of the course from the first year onwards.
- Industry input and insights: So to understand professional perspectives
- Face-to-face and online tutorials/training: The communities felt they would like a mix of both.
- More staff awareness and knowledge: The communities felt staff need to know more about online identities and professional presence.
- Industry and discipline specific: Be mindful when developing training of the different creative industries across UAL, which have such different expectations and ethos. Students also wished to share experiences across disciplines and colleges.
Forwards in response to the above findings:
- Stakeholder scoping (Staff, students, Industry etc.)
- Student led events talks discussing ideas of online identity: Exploring Online Presence in Creative Practice
- Learning Studio events - Student led workshops/activities
- A pilot student led magazine/training website for exploring & developing awareness, skills & confidence in ‘online practices
- Pilot online learning/personal learning networks activities