Inclusive Attainment at UAL – Progress update

In August 2016 UAL initiated Learning for All, our programme for addressing attainment inequalities that exist for certain student groups. These inequalities have been persistent and will remain unless we actively address them. As part of Learning for All, the Teaching and Learning Exchange is supporting staff to review and develop their practices to be more inclusive.

Lucy Panesar joined the Exchange at the start of 2017 as an Educational Developer (Diversity and Inclusion) and leads on the development of new Inclusive Attainment resources to support UAL staff with understanding and addressing attainment inequalities in their areas of practice.

The new Inclusive Attainment online resource contains key reference materials for understanding attainment inequalities (including a four-step process to address attainment), an evolving bank of case studies on interventions already made by UAL staff to address attainment, key contacts and staff development opportunities.  It’s growing and evolving so do check back to see what’s new.

An Inclusive Attainment workshop, following the same four-step process, has been delivered by Lucy and Terry Finnigan (LCF Head of Attainment) to over 300 staff (so far) with very positive feedback. This will run again three times during the 2017/18 academic year, offering staff the opportunity to learn more about the causes of differential attainment, and the chance to collectively develop strategies to address this. Book your place now.

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

PVC Frances Corner supports digital learning fund

We are delighted to have recently launched a new Teaching and Learning Fund for 2017. One of the strands within the fund is Digital Learning, which Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice-Chancellor Digital and Head of London College of Fashion, has kindly agreed to support. She said:

“As Pro Vice-Chancellor overseeing digital I’m supporting and expanding the Digital Learning strand of the UAL Teaching and Learning fund. Applicants can bid for funding of £1,500, £3,000 or £5,000 for projects that will run between January 2017 and December 2017. The aim of this funding is to support colleagues and students from across the University to improve and enhance the student experience.”

Applicants interested in Digital Learning should consider the following:

  • How will the project extend excellent teaching and learning into digital spaces?
  • How will students be equipped with ‘higher level’ digital literacies around practices and/or student identity?
  • How will the use of digital be used to cross institutional or disciplinary boundaries?

Other funding strands are also available:

  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Student-Staff Collaboration
  • Staff Collaboration
  • Curious, creative curricula
  • Environmental Sustainability

The deadline for applications to the fund is the 14th of December. Apply now.

Katie Mills appointed EEUK Board Director

Congratulations to Katie Mills, Assistant Director, Careers and Employability, who has been appointed as a Director to the board of Enterprise Educators UK. EEUK is the national network for enterprise educators, with a network of 105 member institutions. The company’s aim is to support its members to increase the scale, scope and effectiveness of enterprise and entrepreneurship education and practice.

The Director role is a voluntary post with a 3 year tenure, with responsibilities including attending EEUK board meetings and in some instances representing EEUK at events or conferences regionally/internationally and to lead/support certain aspect of the EEUK programme.

Katie said:

Board membership seems a fantastic opportunity to build UAL and personal networks and profile amongst HEI educational peers. Just from my first board meeting I can already see simply having a presence on the EEUK board brings a range of added value to a member HEI.”

To find out more about Careers and Employability at UAL, visit the website.

New and Improved Exchange Website


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:

UAL Attainment Project: Learning for All

Type3_Graphics_Standard2Professor 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.

Dr Gurnam Singh appointed as Visiting Fellow

Gurnham SinghThe 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.

Exchange and CSM to co-host prestigious ELIA conference in 2017

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:

Congratulations to staff for UAL Teaching Awards

Trophies designed by Chin Chin Lam and Kajsa Lilja, BA Spatial Design. Image: SUArts

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! 

Two very talented students, Chin Chin Lam and Kajsa Lilja, from LCC BA Spatial Design created the Teaching Award trophies. They filmed a video showing the design and making of the trophies.

To find out more about staff who received awards in 2015-16, visit the SU website.