UAL DIAL Project

UAL’s Digital Integration into Arts Learning (DIAL) project, partially funded by JISC, is a two year project that runs from July 2011 to 2013 – with an extension to December 2014.  It aims to improve graduate employability and develop confidence and capability in the adoption and integration of digitally enhanced learning for staff and students.

DIAL explores the pace of technological change and its impact on the day-to-day practices of its staff and students. As education merges in the rapidly expanding field of social and cultural technological change, maintaining progressive practice in these new digitally enhanced learning spaces presents new expectations, anxieties and challenges for all.

DIAL aims to engage and bring together staff and students who are living with technology (the digital residents) and those who are learning to live with technology (the digital visitors) as a self sustainable networked community.

Digital technology can enable us to capture, preserve, share, collaborate on, and publish our activities. It can simplify, speed up and streamline processes, and in a wide variety of ways, we can expect it to shape many of our social and professional activities in years to come.

For these reasons, ensuring full participation in digital life for university staff and students is necessary, but also challenging.  With so many different areas of digital activity, and so much variety in levels of confidence and existing skills, how can a university ensure staff and students have the appropriate skills for digital engagement?

The project method is to identify mutually supportive communities of staff and students within the larger university community (based on courses, disciplines or other naturally occurring communities) who identify goals for improving their collective digital literacies over a six month period, initially with significant support from the project team.  Over the project life-time, processes, resources and toolkits are being developed so the communities can be increasingly autonomous in their development programmes.  Within the community, individual and collective aims and anxieties will be identified, along with current skills and experience.  Community members will collaborate to increase the overall digital literacy of the whole community.

The DIAL blog is a useful place to find out about news and events relating to digital technologies within arts and design education, as well as specific activities across the UAL.  It is also a place to comment, connect and feed into the discussions around digital technologies.

If you would like to contribute to DIAL project in any way please contact Chris Follows:


‘Oh, so they have internet on computers now!’ Simpson, H.