UAL sets the standard for teaching and learning development for academic support librarians

_DSC1205LRElizabeth 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.

Research Methods in Education Seminar Series

_DSC0191LRAre 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. 

4th May 2016, 13:00-17:00, High Holborn, room 210
Phenomenography: an approach to research in higher education
Professor Alison Shreeve, Bucks New University

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.

18th May 2016, 14:30-17:00, CSM, room D119
Thinking about interview data
Professor Sue Clegg, Leeds Beckett University

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

25th May 2016, 15:00-17:00, High Holborn, room 902
Ethnography and autoethnography: principles and applications of ethnographic research methods
Dr Kate Hatton, University of the Arts London

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.

1st June 2016, 14:00-16:30, Richbell Place, room G06
Narrative Inquiry in Higher Education
Dr Sheila Trahar, University of Bristol

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.

8th June 2016, 14:00-16:30, High Holborn, room 313
Semiotics and the visual turn: on the use of images in research
Dr Nick Peim, University of Birmingham

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.

15th June 2016, 14:00-16:00, Richbell Place, room G06
Practice as research: practising research practices
Dr Mark Ingham, University of the Arts London

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.

UAL’s inaugural Undergraduate Research Forum a success!

Konstantin Zhukov delivering his presentation: 'HOMOerotic?'

LCC student Konstantin Zhukov delivering his presentation: ‘HOMOerotic?’

On Wednesday 9th March 2016, 40 undergraduate students representing all colleges of the University met in the Banqueting Suite at Chelsea to share their work at UAL’s first ever Undergraduate Research Forum.

The day kicked off with a barn-storming keynote by CSM BA Ceramic Design student and current MEAD scholarship recipient, Sarah Christie. Sarah talked about her collaborative work with Imperial College, designing ceramic artefacts to be used to train medical students about tactile nuances between different dermatological skin conditions. Sarah underlined how distracting vision can be in terms of making flawed diagnoses and assumptions, and how utilizing other senses can be a useful primary research methodology.

Haptic communication was returned to several times during the day, with Wimbledon BA Fine Art’s Lizzie Masterton illuminating participants with her exploration into the fascinating world of Auto-Sensory Motor Response (ASMR) videos and LCC BA Graphic and Media Design’s Eun Gyeong Kim experimenting with using other senses to read.

The afternoon saw rich discussion of artefacts presented in a table-top exhibition, with participants sharing their experiences of ethical dilemmas in the research process. A second keynote by CSM BA Graphic Design graduates Sisterhood, was an inspirational story of how ‘a two week course project can become part of your career’. It motivated a lively debate on the commodification of feminism.

As part of Research Fortnight programme, the intention was to raise the profile of undergraduate research and provide an opportunity for students to come together to celebrate and learn from each other’s work. The closing plenary discussion indicated that inter-disciplinary learning had been the highlight of the day, and that the resonances and dissonances between our diverse courses is definitely worth exploring again next year. There were requests to make the day into a two day research festival, so watch this space!

The Forum was organised and funded by the Teaching and Learning Exchange in partnership with students, as part of UAL’s current enhancement theme work: ‘Practices of Enquiry’, which aims to nurture students’ enquiry-led practice. If you would like to get involved in next year’s Undergraduate Research event, or find out more about the Practices of Enquiry project please contact Catherine Smith, Teaching Excellence and Enhancement Co-ordinator at: c.h.smith@arts.ac.uk

Paul Lowe awarded Inspirational Educator Award 2016 for Creative Technologies

We are delighted to announce that UAL Teaching Scholar Paul Lowe, LCC Course director for MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography has won the Inspirational Educator Award 2016 for Creative Technologies, which is awarded by the Worshipful Company of Educators. He was nominated by UAL and assisted in his application by the Teaching and Learning Exchange.

Paul won against some very tough competition, and the award is fantastic recognition of the work he does, developing new pedagogies to respond to the opportunities offered by creative digital technologies.

Susan Fey, Chair of Trustees of the Worshipful Company of Educators said:

I am delighted to congratulate Paul Lowe on his achievement in winning our Creative Technologies Award. Especially so because he was up against stiff competition; our judges did not have an easy task in making their decision, not least because the nominations represented the wide scope of creative technologies and the creative industries.

The judges commented:

Paul Lowe integrates creative technologies at multiple levels in the curriculum he has developed, drawing on considerable experience: photojournalism as its creative core, taught through a cohesively structured international online network with a remarkable retention rate, weaving diverse professional organisations into a ‘living curriculum’ from the outset.

Paul Lowe has combined his technical skills with pedagogical philosophy derived from ‘communities of practitioners’ approach. He has applied this to his teaching practice in problem-based, collaborative action-learning.        

An example of innovation which evidenced the real power of new technologies to transform learning into a peer-driven experience with global potential.

We caught up with Paul to ask how he felt about the award. He said:

It’s a great honour to receive this award in recognition of the work I’ve been doing at LCC and UAL. I have to thank the Teaching and Learning Exchange and colleagues at LCC who deserve this award as much as I do for their continuing commitment to developing a culture of digital technologies in learning and teaching in the creative industries.

Paul will be presented with his award on 22 April at the Educators’ Trust Annual Awards Dinner which takes place at the Vintner’s Hall in the City of London. The presentations will be made by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Ken Olisa OBE, FRSA, FBCS.

Practices of Enquiry: call for case studies of enquiry-based teaching

5b114088-a0b4-48ae-94c2-e6e59f0a95bdDoes enquiry form part of your curriculum? Are your students engaged in small-scale research investigations, problem-based learning or a research-based approach to projects and processes? If so, we want to hear from you.

The Teaching and Learning Exchange is working in partnership with the colleges to collectively investigate how practices of enquiry are taught and learned at UAL. We’re looking for examples of how staff support students to develop enquiry-led, inquisitive and curious approaches to their disciplinary practice.

What does it involve?
A team of student researchers will come to you and visually document your teaching practice. They will interview you and your students about your ‘practices of enquiry’. The resultant case studies will be curated into an exciting exhibition of UAL pedagogy next academic year.

Why do this?
We want to share best teaching practice across the University. We know amazing things happen in the myriad studios/classrooms/lecture theatres but we don’t often get to see it. We want to work with students as research partners to utilise our disciplinary visual and creative expertise to articulate our diverse pedagogic practices.

If you are interested in nominating a case study, please get in touch with Catherine Smith: c.h.smith@arts.ac.uk

New workshop! Graduate destinations: the story behind the statistics

DLHE imageHow much do you know about where your graduates work after graduation? How many work freelance, start their own businesses or find employment? These statistics are available in the Destinations for Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) dataset which forms part of the Key Information Statistics, as seen by applicants on Unistats.

Careers and Employability are running new staff development workshops to enhance your knowledge of DLHE and to show you how to get behind these statistics so you can find out:

  • how your course and college performs (you can sort by gender, SECs etc)
  • how your graduates answer the DLHE questionnaire (sent to them six months after graduating)
  • what impact this may have on your curriculum planning

Bring your laptop or tablet to use in the session. Light lunch will be provided at the workshops. Choose from four lunchtime dates around UAL, and book a place using the links below.

June 8th  DLHE Session at LCC

The sessions will be run by the Careers and Employability Academic Coordinators for each college, with Ismaril Wells, Student Employability Practitioner.

Reimagining Creative Spaces – 2016 Learning and Teaching Day

Jos Boys152 UAL staff came together for the 2016 Learning and Teaching Day – an intensive day of discussions, workshops and presentations on the theme of Reimagining creative spaces for teaching and learning at UAL.

Dr Jos Boys opened the day with a keynote on new forms of learning space, what she described as a ‘learning commons’. These spaces can be cafes, open access computing rooms, libraries or any other non-formal teaching space. She argued that while many universities are investing in their estates, we need to hold onto what we want learning spaces to engender, such as problem-seeking, uncertainty, and flow to create spaces that encourage experimention, collaboration, privacy and personalisation.

The day was packed with workshops and presentations tackling the conference theme from a wide range of angles, many of them touching on the keynote’s point – that we need to hang on to the mess of art and design higher education.

Rachel and Sean_crop

Sean Wyatt-Lively and Rachel Littlewood

LCC Graphic Design students Sean Wyatt-Lively and Rachel Littlewood presented on ‘Rhizomatic Learning in the Riso Room’, showing how being able to experiment with a space at LCC improved their learning experience. Their tutors ‘donated’ a room furnished only with a few tables and chairs, which the students furnished and adapted to suit their needs. They said:

‘The sense of community enabled by the space enabled collaboration, peer learning, and a positive student experience.’

Anna Hart leading group discussion

Anna Hart leading group discussion

Air Studio founder Anna Hart presented on ‘Learning and Teaching in Silence’, taking a group of staff on a silent walk around Oxford Circus. The group took in churches, pubs, the BBC and an underground car park, all in silence, with phones left behind at LCF. A post-walk discussion revealed that it had been a thought-provoking experience that provided relief from the business of daily life.

Nick Kaplony and Edwina Fitzpatrick talked about The Source: A new and developing teaching and learning tool for the delivery of Enterprise and Employability within the fine art curriculum.  The Source is a project developed in partnership with Artquest, addressing the nature and challenges of working and practicing as an artist.

Sion Fletcher and Nelson Crespo presented on Digital Space – hosting platforms for creative web projects at CSM. Sion delivers a 20-week lecture series teaching coding to graphic design students. He has built them a custom website which is highly flexible, and enables submission and assessment. As students only submit links (rather than content), Sion says the site is potentially ‘as big as the internet’.

Terry Finnegan

Terry Finnegan

Terry Finnegan, National Teaching Fellow and Head of Student Attainment at LCF, closed the conference with a keynote questioning whether learning spaces reflect the diverse needs of students. She argued that it is the responsibility of all staff members to develop an inclusive curriculum. Higher Education has to accept the implications of working with non-traditional students, and start working with them at the point of entry.  Creating a sense of belonging is critical to success and retention.

More images from the day are available on the Learning and Teaching Day website. You can check out Storify to see how the event was captured on Twitter.

2016 UAL Teaching Scholars Announced

Teaching Scholars_cropWe are delighted to announce our 2016 UAL Teaching Scholars who received their awards from Professor Susan Orr at the annual Learning and Teaching Day. The title of UAL Teaching Scholar celebrates the achievements of outstanding teachers, and Scholars are supported to develop and share their practice with colleagues.

Dr Pratap Rughani is Course Leader for the MA in Documentary Film and Reader in Documentary Film at London College of Communication. As part of his application, a former student commented “He is an inspirational and dedicated teacher with a real commitment to encouraging the kind of open intellectual enquiry that equips students with the means to produce intelligent, complex and nuanced work”. As UAL Teaching Scholar he will undertake a project entitled “Navigating the complexity of ethics in research and making: a film and AV guide for learning and teaching”.

Shibboleth Schechter is a Senior Lecturer and teaches on the BA Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts. In support of her application a former student stated “As a teacher, Shibboleth was inspirational and an example of good practice that still informs my activity as a curator and teacher”. As UAL Teaching Scholar she will be building on her previous work in relation to “live projects” including how these can be embedded into the curriculum and how the student experience of participating in live projects can be documented and disseminated.

Tracey Waller, is Course Leader for the BA Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts. A former student stated “The belief she has in her students, together with the professional opportunities that she provided have been invaluable”. During her tenure Tracey will be developing her work around the students’ experience of assessment. Following the successful piloting of a dialogue-based assessment tutorial, she will be looking at how to evaluate and disseminate this work to a wider university and sector audience.

The next deadline is 25 November 2016, midday. For more information and to apply visit the UAL Teaching Scholars intranet page.

Reading Group – Unifying Psychology and Experiential Education

UAL staff are invited to the 3rd Pedagogy Reading Group session for 15/16. It will take place at High Holborn on:

Mon 15th Feb   13:00 – 14:00   HH705
Tues 16th Feb   17:30 – 19:00   HH706

Text for reading:

Susan Houge Mackenzie, Julie S. Son, and Steve Hollenhorst (2014) ‘Unifying Psychology and Experiential Education: Toward an Integrated Understanding of Why It Works’, Journal of Experiential Learning, (37) 1, pp. 75-88

This text will enable the group to discuss experiential learning and its transdisciplinary possibilities. The article is not art and design specific but has a sustainability focus.  Tim Stephens who has selected the text believes that its insights are nonetheless transferable to UAL contexts.

How can I book a place?
Please RSVP to k.dwyer@arts.ac.uk stating which date you wish to attend (as places are limited)

Future Reading Groups (Details of texts will be sent out nearer to the time).

Reading Group 4
Mon 4 April, 17:30 – 19:00 – CSM Room A117
Tues 29 Mar, 13:00 – 14:00 – HH Room 705

Reading Group 5
Wed 4 May, 17:30 – 19:00 – HH Room 210
Tues 10 May, 13:00 – 14:00 – HH Room 705

Reading Group 6
Tues 14 Jun, 17:30 – 19:00 – LCC Room T806B
Tues 20 Jun, 13:00 – 14:00 – HH Room 705

UAL staff to present at GLAD 2016 – book now!

GLAD2016The 2016 Group for Learning in Art and Design (GLAD) conference will focus on ‘Creative Pedagogies across Disciplines’, questioning what we mean by interdisciplinary collaboration, and what is at stake in this field now.

Date: Friday 26th February 2016, 10:30  – 16:30
Venue: MacDonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham

As well as a keynote from Dr. Claire MacDonald, there will be a programme of workshops on three themes:

  • Reaching out across disciplines.
  • Creative pedagogies beyond the disciplines.
  • Art, Design and Media teaching and learning beyond the university.

Several UAL staff are presenting, including Dr. Alison James and Jonathan Martin. You can find out more and book a place on the GLAD website.