We are delighted to announce the launch of the new Exchange website. The site has been developed in response to college feedback, with the aim of situating and celebrating the Exchange as a sector leading hub for teaching and learning. We commissioned a new set of photographs and videos for the site, and are delighted with the wonderful shots and footage of teaching and learning across our colleges and our diverse disciplines. The site now offers a much improved user experience, and we hope you will find it easier and more intuitive to navigate. We hope it will become the ‘go to’ place for all things teaching and learning for colleagues across UAL and beyond.
External consultant Wyl Menmuir led the redevelopment project, and we asked him to reflect on the changes he has helped to bring about:
The new Exchange web pages are a real step up, both in terms of look and feel and the clarity of information the Teaching and Learning Exchange offers online. This was only made possible by the tutors, course leaders, technicians and academic coordinators across UAL who helped us shape the new content, offering their time and expertise in considering the information that would make a difference to them daily. We were led by the things you told us you wanted to see and we hope with the new Exchange pages you’re able to find more information, opportunities, contacts and events to help you to improve and develop both your teaching and your students’ learning.
The Exchange Dean, Professor Susan Orr, is confident that the new site will help us work better colleagues across the university. She said:
I am delighted that our web pages now reflect the ways that the Teaching and Learning Exchange shares, showcases and develops best practice in teaching, learning and employability by working in partnership with colleagues across our constituent colleges. These webpages truly are an exchange in the best possible sense of the word.
As the site develops, we hope that staff across UAL will contribute content so that we can reflect the great teaching and learning practices taking place in the colleges. Now that we have the site up and running, we will turn our attention to finding ways to make sure we are reaching out and giving staff the opportunity to share their work.
We welcome feedback on the new site. If you have any feedback, please contact Charlotte Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Susan Orr and Diane Lucas (Academic Development and Services Administrator) have been asked to lead the UAL Attainment Project: Learning For All. The project addresses attainment differentials that exist between groups of students in our university, and recognises, builds on and extends college-focused attainment work. It has a particular focus on addressing the attainment gap for Black students, international students and working class students. To support this work we have appointed Dr Gurnam Singh as a Visiting Fellow. Look out for more information about this work in the Autumn term.
The Teaching and Learning Exchange are delighted to announce that we have appointed Dr Gurnam Singh as a Visiting Fellow. Dr Singh is Principal Lecturer in Social Work at Coventry University and Visiting Professor of Social Work at the University of Chester, and brings invaluable expertise and experience to our work at UAL. He will be the advisor/critical friend for the UAL Attainment Project: Learning for All.
Dr Singh describes himself as an academic activist, and states:
‘what inspires me both in my teaching and research is the desire to transform individuals and society. I always seek to deploy a critical sociological imagination in my work as well as espousing democratic, humanitarian and universal principles. My belief is that committed scholarship has the potential to enable human societies to respond to the challenge of all kinds of inequalities, at the local, national or global level.’
We are so pleased that Dr Singh will be contributing to our work on diversity, equality and attainment.
We are delighted to announce that the Teaching and Learning Exchange and CSM will be co-hosting the ELIA (European League of Institutions of Arts) Academy Conference on 5-7 July 2017. Titled: What’s going on here: exploring elasticity in teaching and learning in the arts, the conference will focus on teaching and learning in the arts, with sub themes on curiosity, research, social change and hybridity.
Dr Silke Lange (Associate Dean Learning Teaching and Enhancement at CSM) and Professor Susan Orr are keen to bring in contributions from students and staff across UAL and will be setting up a UAL group to support the steering group’s work. We will post further information about the conference shortly, but in the meantime have a look at this short video from last year’s conference in the Netherlands to give you a flavour of the event.
Several UAL colleagues attended the conference last year and were very impressed with the quality of debate and the creativity of the workshops and speaker contributions. As a result of our experience we pitched to ELIA and are pleased to bring this important teaching and learning international conference to UAL in 2017.
Please contact Katharine Dwyer if you would like to be involved in the UAL group: email@example.com
Trophies designed by Chin Chin Lam and Kajsa Lilja, BA Spatial Design. Image: SUArts
A number of staff members who recently received UAL Teaching Awards have attended Graduation and celebrated their achievements. Among them was Elizabeth Staddon, Head of Arts Education at the Exchange. The UAL Teaching Award, run by UAL’s Student Union, allows students to nominate staff who have demonstrated excellence in their teaching. Elizabeth teaches on our MA Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication.
Her students’ comments included:
Elizabeth was right there with us through our course. She was genuinely interested in all our projects, and shared our many trials and triumphs as we stumbled our way through the difficult MA dissertation process. As a tutor she manages to strike the perfect (difficult to pull off) balance between support and challenge. She is a fount of pedagogic knowledge, but wears it lightly, as if to reassure the learners that we are all in this together. It truly felt like we were! Beyond that, she is an inspirational female teaching role model – one of the very few people in UAL with whom I am able to share the tedious but very real struggles of managing family, study, research and work. Those snatches of conversation may seem trivial to others, but they are actually a lifeline. If Elizabeth can do it, so can I!
Elizabeth runs the Dissertation unit on the MA. In tutoring our cohort through it last year she created a safe space for the discussion and development of our ideas, allowing us to share our knowledge and research journeys. This was one of the most important aspects of the process for me; and I would speak for my peers here too. Elizabeth was interested in each of our projects: listening, encouraging, questioning, challenging – and even bringing us texts she thought would inspire. Aside from the supportive group seminars she established, she was always willing to meet us to discuss any problems we might be having with our research, so that we felt fundamentally supported. It seemed that she was genuinely interested in what we were doing; and made us feel that it was worthwhile. This attitude to learning and teaching is one which others would seek to model. Elizabeth embodies the qualities I admire, and it was a privilege to spend time under her supervision.
We caught up with Elizabeth to find out how she felt about the award. She said:
It is an absolute privilege to be recognised as a teacher at UAL and I am touched that students have taken the time to express their gratitude. I don’t think we teach for the praise, but it really is lovely when we get it!
Diversity is a topic that many people find difficult to tackle, but when a student leaves home to begin their University education, they can start to feel marginalized for many reasons, including their race. One UAL student has felt the need to spread the word on the issues facing the BAME community in education by single-handedly trying to champion the message for building awareness, as well as helping communities around the world.
Journalism student Kai Lutterodt who studies at the University of Arts in London, set up the awareness platform Diversity Matters to focus on the issues of race and BAME representation in the Arts and Media, Education and Work Environments. Her journey started when she found a lack of representation in her lecturers. She states ‘up until very recently there wasn’t anyone teaching who looked like me.’ Wanting to make a difference, Kai first became active member of the student body through her Students Union role as President of the UAL African Caribbean Society, organising events that included talks by BAME industry professionals. She said:
‘The word diversity covers a lot of issues, but I wanted to concentrate on race, as I feel that people are happy to talk about diversity, but can be more reluctant to talk about the issues surrounding race.’
After the success of Diversity Matters Awareness Week, Kai has since gone onto set up Diversity Matters as a student-lead platform to make a big difference beyond education, and recently curated and launched an art exhibition Diversity Matters Exhibit at UAL with contributions from a diverse group of students and artists. Diversity Matters Exhibit was also a fundraising collaboration between Kai’s art workshop platform Art4Change, which aims to work with marginalised communities around the world and Pianist Without Borders artist Fabio Tedde. The theme of music was highlighted in the exhibition beautifully with a show-stopping piece of art in the form of a piano decorated by Italian artist Riccardo Girardi.
Professor Susan Orr, UAL’s Dean of Learning and Teaching Enhancement said:
‘I’m chuffed to bits to be linked to this project. The work is wonderful’
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Race Champion for UAL, Stephen Reid was full admiration for Kai and feels that Universities need to help individuals in order to improve diversity, but also that:
‘Institutions need to recognise their own problems, the processes, practices and procedures that may in themselves not be aiding the progression of BAME individuals.’
He summed up the night as being ‘such an achievement for Kai, who has worked so hard to raise the issue of diversity in the university.’
Diverse Student Voices in Creative Learning in Practice
The Widening Participation and Diversity teams are now inviting Course Directors from across UAL to nominate students for the University’s Tell Us About It project. This project focuses on Home students from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, who are completing their course, and who have achieved to a high level.
Nominated students will be invited to record or present their experiences, in their chosen form, to add to a collection of case studies which inform learning and teaching across UAL. Students will be provided with mentoring to produce their story and a bursary of £200.
Kai: The project proposal was initially for a Diversity Matters women’s day event to highlight BAME women staff at UAL during International Women’s Day. However we revised it to focus specifically on “race” – a subject not often delved into when we talk about diversity.
The success of the DMAW16 events was due to the “student-staff” collaboration part, which is a compulsory element of projects to be considered for funding from the Exchange’s staff-student collaboration fund.
former Blue Peter presenter Andy Ayo Akinwolere shares a few of his travel adventures in over 120 countries
Having the support of staff collaborators Tanicia Payne and Jennifer Williams-Baffoe, as well as Tili Andoh (Head of Diversity at UAL) and Shades of Noir director Aisha Richards, gave the project a wider audience and larger UAL network. This was particularly visible in the turnout for our main panel event on the 21 April – Why does race matter in the learning environment? The panel included senior staff Jeremy Till and George Blacklock as well as BAME staff and practitioners Jennifer Williams, Tanicia Payne, Lawrence Lartey, SUARTS Education officer Bee Tajudeen and UAL alumna Samia Malik.
The week of events was well attended and feedback has shown that DMAW16 allowed both BAME and non-BAME staff and students a safe space to openly discuss issues of race, which are factors in attainment and retainment. We were also able to question what UAL senior management is doing to tackle the lack of BAME academic staff in senior positions at UAL (find out more about UAL So White).
Jennifer Williams-Baffoe said:
When Kai approached me with her idea I instantly wanted to support her due to her passion and commitment to the topic. I certainly think Kai has set a positive ball in motion as the topic can be seen as a sensitive one, however, I think it is healthy to discuss diversity in all its forms.
Staff and students at UAL need to be “World Class” not just “One Class” and UAL could be the university to lead the way on this. The creative industries are incredibly diverse and I do believe that we need to equip our staff and students with the skillsets to address this. My wish is that whenever the topic of diversity is raised no one should feel uncomfortable talking about it and I believe that this can happen once training is set in motion for staff and students alike. I believe that Diversity Matters is one of the suitable platforms at UAL to disseminate this.
Q&A chaired by AGRUPA student Tiffany Webster with filmmaker Fred Kuwornu after the screening of “BLAXPLOITALIAN: 100 years of Blackness in the Italian Cinema
Overall DMAW16 has proven that an idea can become a reality if you’re given the right opportunities!
Special thanks to the Teaching and Learning Exchange for this opportunity, which resulted in an empowering experience! Also thanks to Widening Participation, the Diversity Team, SUARTS, and Shades of Noir.
Elizabeth Staddon from the Teaching and Learning Exchange and Leo Appleton from Library Services travelled to Dublin on the 22nd March to present at the esteemed LILAC conference on a new teaching and learning programme especially designed for library staff. They reported on the development, delivery and evaluation of a course that was first piloted in Spring 2015 to introduce librarians involved in teaching to some of the main features of art and design pedagogy for library based academic support.
The paper was very well received by colleagues from across the sector, who were impressed by UAL’s strategy to establish development opportunities for all its staff with a teaching and learning support role, and by the close working relationship between Library Services and the Teaching and Learning Exchange to deliver such a motivational programme. Elizabeth and Leo are now keen to build on this early success to ensure that academic support librarians and others with a teaching and learning support role can continue to develop and be recognized for their expertise.
Are you interested in doing research in educational settings and want to know more about the ways you might carry out your study? As part of the Pedagogic Research Network, this Teaching and Learning Exchange seminar series will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to some of the qualitative methodologies that can be used for researching higher education in a creative arts context.
This seminar will introduce you to the research approach known as phenomenography, which was developed in educational research in the 1970s. It offers a way to understand that particular situations are experienced differently within a group of people. It underlies the well-known deep and surface approaches to learning and has been used to explore how people understand aspects of learning, teaching, research and assessment in higher education. It provides a useful tool for understanding how difference might lead to less successful engagement in higher education.
One of the most frequent methods of data collection reported on in the literature on higher education is the interview. However, it is often under-described in the methodology sections of published papers. This seminar will provide some insights into the dynamics of the interview where the researcher has rich insider knowledge of the contexts they are researching. It will also consider how different framings of the research interview lead to different approaches to analysing interview data. The seminar will introduce various approaches to analysing interview data, and participants will be encouraged to reflect on how they might frame interviews for their own research
This seminar will examine the principles and applications of ethnographic research methods, beginning with a short historical overview of how such methods have evolved and their uses within educational research. Case studies taken from past and present research will be introduced to show how methods work in qualitative studies. Some reference will be made to autoethnographic methodologies from across creative disciplines where a sense of the critical self is imagined within a field of research shaping a number of written and visual outcomes. The social and cultural contexts of ethnographic research will be highlighted as a means of promoting ways of thinking and writing productively.
Narrative inquiry is a form of qualitative research that presupposes that we understand and give meaning to our lives through story. This seminar will consider the philosophical underpinnings of narrative inquiry, attending to the ways in which a story is constructed, for whom and why, and the cultural discourses that it draws upon. Ways of gathering, ‘analysing’ and re-presenting narrative ‘data’ will be explained as will the role of the researcher. Examples from higher education research will be given to explore the responsibility of narrative inquirers to pay attention to how knowledge is constructed, shared and understood in local contexts.
This seminar will explore some principles of semiotics from de Saussure to Derrida to highlight issues relating to questions concerning meaning and interpretation in research. A brief introduction to key ideas will be followed by collective descriptions and analyses of images with consideration given to their potential uses. At stake in all this will be a basic phenomenology of research relations.
Using Katie MacLeod’s essay ‘The functions of the written text in practice-based PhD submissions’ from the Working Papers in Art and Design 1 (2000), this seminar will explore the evolving place of practice in research, as research, with and for research. MacLeod [asserts] ‘…that art is a theorising practice; it can produce the research thesis; it cannot be said to be simply an illustration of it.” Please could you bring with you an example of your own or another’s art and design work to use as a springboard, or sounding board for the session.