UAL Dyslexia Awareness Week: e-Inclusion

Assistive technology

Assistive technology in use

According to the University’s Disability Champion, Natalie Brett, ‘there is a link between creativity and dyslexia which points to higher levels of dyslexia amongst creative people’.  With 19% of UAL’s home students having declared a specific learning difficulty, enabling digital inclusion, or e-inclusion, is a core element of the University’s provision to support students with learning difficulties; helping to advance their digital literacy and subject knowledge. Continue reading

UAL’s New Assistive Technologies

Assistive TechnologyIn its broadest sense assistive technology is understood as any device that enables people with disabilities, however, in the context of the University of the Arts London it is a device or software that is used to support learning. This support covers a third of the university’s staff and students who are estimated to fall on some spectrum of the dyslexia scale, in addition to the large international student body that may seek language support. As an MA student at CSM, I am aware that at least one of my twenty-eight classmates has and receives tutoring for dyslexia, while the majority of my cohort are non-native English speakers and use a variety of tools to support their learning.

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Moodle Matters at Central Saint Martins

Welcome to UAL Moodle

The University-wide implementation of Moodle – a major element of the new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – is in full swing, as one of a number of Digital Life projects currently being undertaken by UAL. The Blackboard plug is being pulled – so to speak – at the end of July and Moodle will be taking its place. So imminent is the migration that three MA courses at CSM have been using live Moodle sites since January. Continue reading

Assessment Feedback – Online

online assessment form

Online assessment feedback – tutor view

Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, John Jackson – CLTAD’s Educational Developer (eLearning) – has been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (OAT) project since its inception. Here he discusses OAT’s journey so far and plans for the future.

OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed by CLTAD to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Available to course teams as an optional alternative to using the Word based assessment feedback forms, it was used for the first time on two courses (one London College of Fashion, the other London College of Communication) in late December 2011.

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CSM My Digital Life Workshop

My Digital Life workshop - Photo, Rita Fernandez

Student engagement with digital devices – Photo, Rita Fernandez

Over the course of the Spring Term Rita Fernandez joined several of her classmates from the MA Innovation Management course to participate in a research assignment as part of My Digital Life, a UAL initiative aimed at interrogating student engagement with digital technologies. The research culminated in a workshop-style event held at Central Saint Martins, where four groups presented to an audience comprised of students, staff and faculty from across the University’s colleges. Rita shares her experience and some of the research insights. Continue reading

Blogs: Maxim Northover shares his insights

Filmmaker Maxim Northover is in his final year of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins and since embarking on the course has built up a strong blog. He is taught by Course Director Birgitta Hosea, whose own blog Expanded Animation featured in an earlier post on Digital Present. Here, we question Maxim on his approach to running his blog and how it benefits his creative and critical practice.

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Workflow: who, what, where, when, why, how?

Workflow - home page.

Workflow - home page.

E-Learning Educational Developer John Jackson, from the Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD), provides an overview of the ePortfolio platform Workflow, one of the latest digital tools supported by the university. In doing so, he offers an alternative to blogs, and suggests that the general lack of awareness of this ePortfolio technology by staff and students is holding back its adoption across the institution. Continue reading

Digital literacy within arts and design education?

Connecetd digital devices enabling cafe communication

Connected digital devices enabling online and offline communication in the cafe studio

When we consider how to start mapping what ‘digital literacy’ means within the context of a dynamic arts and design educational environment, and ever changing socio-technical systems, where do we start? Do we frame the exploration as a network-topological study, attend to the politics of search engines, and investigate our digital trace routes? Whatever the answer, it’s essential that digital literacy is not perceived simply as a set of technical skills. Continue reading

UAL Digital Life programme

Nick desk

A familiar 21c office desktop

Recently launched, and spearheaded by Stephen Reid, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Strategic Development, the University’s Digital Life programme is ambitious and expansive.

Initially Digital Life will act as an umbrella programme encompassing many of the UAL’s existing projects, such as the VLE, Digital Literacy for staff and students, and institutional websites. The Digital Life executive team, including Frances Corner, Nancy Turner and Martin James, will oversee the programme and ensure that there is a co-ordinated approach to the management and development of digital projects. Central to Digital Life is the belief that it must not prohibit experimentation with new digital learning. Continue reading