DIAL 11/13 Executive summary

A Community based approach to developing digital literacies

Digital integration into Arts Learning (DIAL Project) | University of the Arts London (UAL) | CLTAD | JISC Developing Digital Literacies Programme


Twitter: @DIALProject

Aims: Cultural change and improved graduate employability

Objectives: Encourage and support self-identifying and sustaining communities of practice in the creation of new resources, processes and learning networks. DIAL provides support, mentorship and incentives and supports partnerships and collaboration across projects.

The DIAL Approach:

  • Encouraging communities of practice
  • Made up of Self-identifying groups and Individuals
  • Encourage Self sustaining and sustainable models
  • Provide small support incentives, replacement hours, student researchers, equipment loans, mentorship, online tools/development and support etc.
  • Encourage and participate in partnerships and collaboration across projects.

What we did:

Baseline blogs: A snapshot overview of UALs digital day-to day practices

DIAL developed & supported Communities of Practice and Interest groups


Led and stewarded by the group initiators and participants

Professional Online Identities

Video Presentation Skills

  • 1 x Staff (Project team)
  • 4 x Staff (Participants)
  • 20+ MA Students (Participants)
  • Collaboration partners DIAL, CLTAD, SEE,

Speaking Out. MA LCF Fashion Entrepreneurship

Open & Flexible learning

Drupal UAL

  • 2 x staff 1 student (Project Team)
  • 15 Staff and 5 Students (Participants)
  • Collaboration partners DIAL, CLTAD, UAL CoP fund

Things Unlimited

Online reflective practice TDP projects

  • 1 x Staff (Project team)
  • 70 x Student teachers PG Cert (Participants)
  • Collaboration partners DIAL, CLTAD


DIAL supported the development of Clusters Groups, promoting good practice and sharing interests

Many other DIAL related projects

Research groups, conference groups, experimental groups and new projects in the early stages of development receive support and advice from DIAL


“The DIAL resources attached to these core attributes have influenced a staged approach at Glasgow School of Art which aims to provide developmental and iterative initiatives to support existing expertise as well as encourage adapted forms of engaging with emerging technologies.” 


Hundreds of Open Educational Resources (OERs), new model & approach, Video Resources, L & T templates, workshops, case studies, prototypes, unit development, policy development, new terms & standards and new approaches.


  • Influenced and supported strategic planning
  • Created new UAL cross college Collaborations for Digital Literacies Support

The DIAL definition of Digital Literacies at UAL

‘Self-identified digital skills and attributes needed to support personal and professional digital practice, ranging from awareness and participation, application of good practice through to participation in emergent and innovative digital practices’.

Lessons learned and reflection

Tools: Finding a balance between face-to-face and digital, understanding staff and students digital needs. Develop projects & rationales that demonstrate needs

People/ Individuals & development: Lots of fear of being unprepared, under supported or ready to engage as a teacher, professional and as a learner in new technologies and digital online practices, staff and students.

“I was the tutor who felt physically sick having to engage with the digital.”

“I’m a young person and I’m terrified of the internet, do not make assumptions”

University Integration: Trust & confidence, address the fear of digital, support and encourage: the DIAL small steps approach, influence local change and strategy, experimentation, grassroots innovation and in-house expertise

College integration: Defining DLs and competencies, an agile and iterative process

Curriculum integration: Huge gap in supporting creative online practice, professional development and learning & teaching. Problems embedding digital literacies in courses with busy courses & teams


  • The DIAL (Institutional Story) Final report only .doc file
  • The DIAL (Institutional Story)  Final report and appendix 1 to 7 here as Zip file
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