UALs DIAL project engagement and project capacity

In terms of ‘Managing expectations project scope met‘ in year one DIAL had differing success with engagement and managing engagement, given that DIAL is a project and not an institutional department or service and has limited resources and scope.

DIALs primary objective was to avoid the development of a digital literacy dependency framework but to support the development of a sustainable independent framework consisting of grass root mentors and communities, who develop, lead, manage and provide ongoing guidance to their digital literacy support networks. As the DIAL project becomes increasingly embedded and time dependent its relevance increases and communicating DIALs concept will be a key factor of its success.

Some key risks were identified at the very beginning of the DIAL project in our Risk Analysis –

Lack of engagement at course level from course leaders: Face to face support and engagement, senior management support may prove critical

Lack of stakeholder participation: Addressed by specifying requirements and paying for time spent on project.

Managing expectations project scope met: Define at early stage what is in and out of scope

How can DIAL continue to encourage engagement and participation but also manage expectation and maintain the capacity to support sustainable growth?

Throughout the first year DIAL have been running at full capacity; laying the foundations, supporting the pilot project groups, fielding interest and pushing the institutional agenda for digital literacies at a senior management and strategic level. From an early start DIAL have highlighted the need for a digital initiative like DIAL, maybe larger digital programme an official UAL digital programme to really succeed.

DIAL are really pleased to see the development of the new UAL digital Life programme which aims to bring together many of UALs digital initiatives under one umbrella in order to deliver an inspirational digital experience. With the DIAL project at its heart; without digital literacy who will use the tools and services that many of the projects in digital life will deliver? ­ Read more here.

Image 1 above: Outline Digital Life Scope (i.e. there are more projects and areas within Digital Life)

What DIAL found in terms of UALs 6 college wide engagement and how the new digital life programme can support DIAL.

Looking through DIALs dissemination list we can see DIAL has been actively engaged across all stakeholders senior management, college, staff, student, service/department HE sector and sector bodies although DIAL are lacking direct employer engagement. In terms of colleges CSM have had a majority of the engagement, followed by LCF. This could be down to a few factors, one is that the other colleges or specific key individuals have not heard of DIAL, therefore DIAL need to be more proactive in the other colleges. And/or that there are specific staff colleges who are more pro active than others for example: a new project at CSM includes a whole course/year aligned project which only happened because of only one single academic leader out of a room of 50 UAL academic leaders forum who were offered DIAL support, only one who self identified themselves as needing help, took up DIALs request for help and support from DIAL. The academic leader persisted and followed up DIALs request and subsequently involved his course team and we are together developing a significant DIAL project collaboration. No other academic leaders followed up in this way on DIALs offer of support?


UP TO DATE LIST of DIAL projects: Active, ongoing, new and emerging HERE

CSM & LCF have shown a very pro-active approach to addressing, leading and following up digital literacies engagement with DIAL. I have had meetings with key staff who seem to be are driving or who are heavily involved in college digital agendas, strategies and progressive digital practice, not just digital infrastructure but practice and culture. Key and actively engaged DIAL contacts include:

London College of Fashion (LCF)

College contacts: Gavin Jenkins (Digital competencies)

Central Saint Martins (CSM)

College contacts: Jo Morrison (Digital present)

  • Adam Thorpe: Project 2. Using process.arts (or similar) to facilitate peer mentoring and coaching linked to developing an eco-system for social enterprise at UAL. UAL DESIS Lab has been working with UAL Enterprise to access funding and support for staff and students seeking to establish social enterprises from the Unlimited HE Support Programme – see,75028,en.html . One of the initiatives that we would like to action is the creation of a peer to peer mentoring and coaching network to support UAL staff and students in development of their social enterprises. Having heard Chris Follows presenting the process.arts OER at the e-learning we would like to know if CLTAD could facilitate the inclusion of this functionality within the process.arts site.

The CSM and LCF models are great examples of good practice, how do we encourage other colleges to do the same? DIAL have yet to fully identify and engage with the other colleges to the same extent as CSM and LCF and would like to address this in year two. WE encourage members of these colleges to engage in the DIAL networks.

Currently DIAL is currently at capacity in terms of project support, but we are continuing to engage with colleges, individuals and projects and are inviting expressions of interest although we may need to seek more funding and support from UAL to meet further demand.

In year one we identified that DIAL requires extra support and in response are in the process of appointing two 6-month DIAL coordinator positions to support the project. DIAL have also revised its year 2 objectives by reducing and also including combined institutional objectives/goals, these can only be met in realistic terms in collaboration with UAL and the new UAL digital Life programme involvement.

Even with these changes and the new DIAL coordinators, DIAL will continue to be over stretched to meet growing demand and its hoped the new UAL digital Life programme will support DIAL in meeting its capacity.

DIAL also have an responsibility to other colleges specifically Chelsea CCAD, Camberwell CCA, Wimbledon WCA and LCC who I feel are all lacking DIAL engagement, but are also lacking connections with the in-house staff who are the digital drivers which both CSM and LCF seem to actively have.  DIAL have been involved in activities across these colleges but have had little take up or interest.

Chelsea College of Art and Design (CCAD):

College contacts: Not yet identified (Dave Barnett?)

A number of projects are emerging:

  • Delivery of technical resource information online: Chelsea and DIAL would like to address, develop case studies around how it deals with these issues at the ‘Technical Co-ordinators technician-related issues and strategy meetings’ and in an open conversation on the baseline blog.
  • Online PPD skills & specialisms with a practice based accreditation tool
  • iPads in workshops – workshop spaces, wood, metal and 3D are looking into use of ipads for supporting workshop activities.
  • Learning zone remote tutoring: Pilot exercise of providing video and audio editing support for Chelsea students using learning zones at CSM and LCC via Skype sessions.

Wimbledon WCA

  • Project specific DIAL contacts: Current contacts: Mariana Fantich, Kaye Pryce Grzesiek Sedek (WCA) and Paul Lowe (LCC).
  • Projects and IT: IT capacity to support projects problem including; IT access, over control and security problem and an IT capacity to deliver servers to projects in a timely way projects require. DIAL are writing a case study for the UAL baseline based on problem in an earlier NAM project report below:
  • The new digital hub: A possible collaboration and support in the development of a new digital hub at WCA?

LCC London College of Communication:

  • Enterprise week Event: Improving Your Prospects through Online Profiles –
  • NAM server: project use case study

CCA Camberwell College of Art

New contact: Adamina Turek (recent contact keen to engage Oct 2012)

Work to be done here.

University wide, central services projects (ongoing)

See information about all below here:

  • Open education at UAL
  • Things unlimited (digital information literacy)
  • Online Reflective Practice
  • UAL drupal Community of Practice


This entry was posted in Activity & progress, Communities of Practice, DIAL updates, Evaluation. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to UALs DIAL project engagement and project capacity

  1. Pingback: DIAL Advisory Board 29 October 2012 | DIAL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.