Digital Literacies & arts practice

The DIAL project has taken two approaches in ‘Defining of Digital literacies at UAL’ all based on the DIAL project findings from staff and student projects to date, these will be clearer once the project has been fully evaluated in July 2013. The DIAL projects scope and objectives will be our primarily focus therefore the DIAL report on DLs will be mainly ‘employability’ specific, graduate attributes for example. DIAL will also make more general recommendations and observations in terms of ‘future work’ required for UAL in addressing other DLs, of which there are many. 

To support this and a wider understanding of DLs at UAL, DIAL have begun a wider UAL debate to help define UALs institutional understanding of terms associated with Digital Literacies in all aspects creative practice, including media literacies, information literacies, digital practice, digital citizenship, online identities, digital/social/cultural competencies, participatory culture, digital attributes, open practice, digital fluency etc.

DIAL have taken an agile approach to ‘Understanding digital literacies at UAL‘, we see it as a complex issue and would like to encourage as many UAL stakeholders to help ‘probe’ and make sense of DLs through this ongoing iterative process. We aim to collectively respond and analyse the finding as we go and work towards publishing a draft ‘institutional’ evidence base of UAL glossary of terms by Dec 2013.

Digital Literacies: There are many different levels and types of DL, these can be interest, discipline, subject, social, cultural, process and practice etc. specific. DIAL are currently producing a ‘Glossary of terms and acronyms for digital literacies at ual’.

Digital Literacies: arts practice (general top level working definition)

Personal and professional digital skills and attributes identified by individuals or groups who wish to support the development of digital in their practice, from awareness and applied understanding of digital use and participation ‘good practice’ through to the emergent and innovative digital practices.

Focus Group Aims: To set up and establish a ‘UAL wide’ focus group around ‘Understanding digital literacies at UAL‘. The group will debate and draw up collective ideas about how best to map digital literacies across UAL as a whole with an aim of understanding how UAL communicate art & design specific digital literacy definitions and competencies.

Focus Group Objective: As part of the process we hope to debate and define UALs institutional understanding of terms associated with ‘Digital literacies’ within all aspects creative practice, working towards publishing a draft ‘institutional’ evidence base of UAL glossary of terms by Dec 2013.

Emerging questions for the discussion group (open to all staff and students) are: 

Understanding digital literacies ‘Definitions and competencies’ at UAL

  • What do ‘digital literacies’ mean to you?
  • What do ‘digital competencies’ mean to you?
  • Are they one and the same thing or different?
  • How are digital competencies different from digital literacies?
  • Should UAL map Digital literacies and competencies and why or why not?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of understanding and mapping digital literacies and competencies at UAL?
  • How do we map and define Digital literacies and competencies, by individual, course, subject area, college, UAL and sector?
  • The relationship to the eLearning approach (& tools) and real world approaches will be identified in the report, as this has been an issue in the project.

Previous sessions and recommend pre-reading notes, and references:

Related text/references

  • Lave, Jean & Wenger, Etienne. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice Learning, meaning and Identity. New Yotk: Cambridge University Press
  • Wenger, E. White, N. and Smith, J.D., 2009. Digital Habitats; Stewarding Technology for Communities. Portland: Cpsquare.
  • Snowden. D. Jul 11, 2010. The Cynefin Framework [online]   < > [Accessed 02 May 2013].
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