Author Archives: Teaching and Learning Exchange

Digitally Engaged Learning Conference 2017

Political activism, a feminist internet, digital making, innovative pedagogies, a creative Dalek… These were just a few of the elements of the Digitally Engaged Learning (DEL) conference 2017.

This year the conference was hosted at Central St Martins on 14-15 September, and opened by our Deputy Vice Chancellor, Simon Oldfield-Kerr, on day one and our PVC Digital, Frances Corner, on day two.

DEL is located at the confluence of digital technology, creative disciplines and teaching and learning practices. Run as an international partnership between UAL (Teaching and Learning Exchange), Texas State University, Penn State and Parsons School of Design, the conference attracted delegates from across the world, representing 37 higher education institutions.

This year’s theme of Teaching Making/Making Teaching fostered both creativity and criticality, as can been seen on the #DEL17 tag in Twitter. Moving beyond ‘digital people’ talking about ‘digital projects’, DEL was a celebration & questioning of teaching & making in which digital is inherent, not ‘special’.  This was emphasised in Diana Arce’s opening keynote in which she described the digital within her political activism as a mechanism to bring together and support face-to-face communities.

Diana Arce, image credit @otheragent on Twitter                  

Diana Arce (image: @otheragent, Twitter)              Thomas Castro (image: C de Giglio)

The relationship between the digital and the physical was a recurring theme across the conference,  writ large in the the design work of Thomas Castro, our second keynote. His LUSTlab design agency has undertaken many projects which cross the physical/digital divide through a critical, digital, reimagining of traditional formats such as the catalogue, the poster and the book.

In addition to a rich array of workshops and talks we were presented with the Feminist Internet Manifesto created by students involved in the UAL Futures project and invited to engage with new forms of creativity by our very own Digital Maker Collective. Throughout the conference we were also confronted with the DEL Dalek which challenged us to interrogate the digital/physical boundary through making and play.


Dalek (image: @tumble33)                           Creations from the dalek (image: @otheragent)

Delegates now have the opportunity to submit reflections on their sessions in text, video, image or audio to Spark, our open access journal of creative teaching and learning. You can read the special edition from DEL 2016 here.

Next year DEL will be hosted by York university near Toronto.  Join the DEL community and get involved! Follow @DELconference on Twitter or email us to join the mailing list.

Conference dinner 2017 at the Skipgarden, Kings Cross 

Changing Mindsets launches at UAL

The two year, HEFCE funded Changing Mindsets project launches at UAL in mid-September 2017, focusing on interventions to close the attainment differentials of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and working class students.

The project is led by academics at the University of Portsmouth and will be run as a series of student and staff workshops at Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Brighton and the University of Winchester, as well as UAL. Professor Susan Orr, UAL Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement is the UAL project lead.

Changing Mindsets will involve around 5,200 university students and 800 university staff. At UAL, 715 students and 100 staff at Camberwell, CSM and LCC will be participating in the first year of the study.  The first workshops for invited staff will take place from mid-September onwards.

Changing Mindsets aims to address the awarding gap and improve attainment for all students by building growth mindsets in both students and staff. A growth mindset is the belief that ability develops through effort and by embracing challenge.

Based on Dweck’s implicit theories of intelligence, and learning from UAL’s Breaking Bias staff development module, the workshops will address the barriers to learning created by stereotype threat (Osborne, 2007) and implicit bias (Staats, 2014).  A growth mindset has been shown to challenge the self-limiting identities and other issues that stereotypes and biases can create in peer interactions, staff expectations and teaching and assessment approaches.

Want to know more?

You can find out more about the project on the Portsmouth University Changing Mindsets blog and follow @MindsetsProject on Twitter.

And, of course, bookmark this page to keep up to date with progress at UAL.

Contact Vikki Hill, Changing Mindsets Project Associate at UAL,

Further Reading

Staats, C., (2014) State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review Kirwan Institute, The.

Osborne, J., (2007) Linking Stereotype Threat and Anxiety An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology, Volume 27, 2007 – Issue 1, pp 135-154