Home Events Membership Dissemination Event: Inclusive Learning, Digital Futures

Membership Dissemination Event: Inclusive Learning, Digital Futures

“There are … a larger number of art and design students studying within higher education who have disclosed disabilities. The overall number is 9.5% of the entire student population and it is around 16.7% of students who study creative subjects”.[1]

The pandemic has brought the challenges of creating equal access to higher education into sharp focus. Experiences of the digital divide vary widely, and acknowledging these differences is essential to informing interventions and support for both faculty and students. Armed with this experience and lessons learned, universities have a shared responsibility to apply what they have learnt amid the pivot to online learning, to address inequalities and advance access and inclusion wherever possible.[2] 

The key publication Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Pedagogies: Learning from Widening Participation Research in Art and Design Higher Education, edited by Bhagat and O’Neil, argued that genuine widening participation in Art and Design required a radical change in culture in which all participants in HE will need to participate and show a lead. Are we reaching that point yet in HE? Can the sectors experience through the COVID-19 pandemic, with rapid advances in digital technology, be exploited to optimise improvements? Can we expect to see the culture of creative education change in response to the innovations as a result of the rapid shift to digital learning? What can we learn from CHEAD members responding to the inclusive and digital challenge?

Join us to hear from members with examples of inclusive learning and digital practice, developed in response to recent challenges. This will be an opportunity for members to share innovations and insights into inclusive learning and digital practice.

[1] (Equality Challenge Unit 2014b, p. 70, p. 90). Equality in Higher Education: Statistical Report 2014: Part 1: Staff. Equality Challenge Unit.

[2] How can we use digital technology to address inequalities in higher education? July 2021, The Association of Commonwealth Universities.


Session outlines

Belfast School of Art: Innovative and sector leading pedagogies and approaches at Belfast School of Art

Louise O’Boyle, Head of Belfast School of Art, will share practices & innovations as a result of the rapid shift to digital learning/engagement. This extraordinary global context has been met with innovative and sector leading pedagogies and approaches from Belfast School of Art staff, with the active involvement of their student groups throughout. This work has been passionately driven by a collective endeavour to sustain a meaningful and a high-quality student learning experience in the most difficult of circumstances. Through a nurtured staff peer learning environment and the creation of open forums for the sharing of ideas and experiences, many of those ‘new’ practices have been kept and others adapted. In the pursuit of ensuring inclusivity and digital literacy throughout this period the greatest change/impact has been to working relationships among staff and the role of the culture and leadership of the school in enabling a supportive environment in which this type of evolution can occur and thrive.

Royal College of Art: Working through acculturative change: an inclusive, process-led approach to online dialogic communication

Sian Lund and Dr Sarah Blair will consider inclusive education from the perspective of social and experiential inclusivity through communicative and interactive learning. By highlighting the importance of dialogic and negotiated learning in Art and Design, they will consider how communicative skills have been affected by the move to online learning during the pandemic. They will demonstrate how discreet elements of all forms of communication can be identified and re-imagined in an online environment – from written group interaction to individual, asynchronous verbal contributions.

Alongside the transformational processes of dialogic learning, they will introduce an acculturation process of transformation in order to demonstrate what participants might be experiencing when they move between educational, cultural and professional contexts and what effects these might have on learning.

University of South Wales: DEAL and No DEAL: Adapting strategies for COVID in creative subjects within regional restrictions

Huw Swayne and Julie King will consider how the University of South Wales developed Digitally Enhanced Active Learning (or DEAL for short) a framework, training, and online resource to support staff in moving to an online learning environment. USW co-designed platforms and delivery mechanisms that would support learning, without compromising course learning outcomes and the demands of future employment landscape.This presentation will cover the strategies and operational transformation that arose from working with local factors in Wales, with a highly mixed economy of learners, to those subject to digital disadvantage / poverty. It will review the very real challenges and mitigations to pedagogies, technologies and practice at USW and will look at a current picture of recovery, transition, and further transformation.

UAL – CCW: From Intuition to Intention: Inclusion and Digital Learning Across Three Arts Schools

Through a team panel discussion Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon (CCW) Digital Learning (DL) team will discuss the role of digital learning in promoting inclusivity through fostering best practices, staff development, review and evaluation, consultancy and day-to-day supportive dialogue with Arts course teams.

CCW Digital Learning team will describe the response to the urgent move of all courses to online delivery, changes to curriculum practices, the challenges of this process and the resulting inclusive learning opportunities. The team will also consider the subsequent review and evaluation, the ambition to cultivate a collaborative network and the recommendation around a new set of frameworks that centre equity, accessibility, anti-racism and student agency.


Louise O’Boyle (session 1)

Head of School, Belfast School of Art

She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Secretary and Executive Committee Member of GLADHE (Group for Learning in Art and Design in Higher Education); a Fellow of CHERP (Centre of Higher Education and Research Practice) at Ulster University; and an Associate Member of RIAD (Research Institute for Art and Design) at Ulster University.

Her arts practice focuses on the interdependent relationship between emotional and physical wellbeing and the role of the artist as social commentator. Current work includes challenging attitudes towards mental ill health and the promotion of emotional wellbeing through socially engaged research and an eclectic practice of videos, performance, and sculpture. Her pedagogical research focuses on the construction of value-based praxis in Higher Education learning and teaching.

Louise has exhibited work and presented her research both nationally and internationally. She has been commissioned by both private and public bodies to create several public artworks, complete research, feasibility studies, education, training and manage arts projects. She has received several awards both for her arts practice and pedagogic research.

For more information visit http://louiseoboyle.com

Siân Lund (session 2)

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Coordinator, Royal College of Art

Siân Lund has taught in Europe and China and worked in HE language and communication teaching for over 20 years. She is currently EAP Coordinator at the Royal College of Art, running academic skills support across the college for all students and collaborating with the teaching and learning committee. She is experienced in designing fully online and blended courses for academic support skills. Her research interests include discourse analysis, acculturative processes in communication and inclusive pedagogies in communication and literacies.

Dr Sarah Blair

Royal College of Art

Dr Sarah Blair teaches writing and communication skills across a range of educational contexts, including the Royal College of Art in London and Hertford College’s International Programme at Oxford University. She was formerly programme leader for MA Drawing for Fine Art Practice at Swindon College, and has a PhD on the languages of visual narrative, applying concepts from linguistics to the realm and detail of drawing. She is currently working on a book exploring English grammar visually.

Dr Julie King (Session 3)

Deputy Dean, University of South Wales

Dr. King has worked in academia over 25 years, in 1994 she joined Nottingham Trent University establishing a pioneering online trend sourcing website, creating the first CD catalogue of designer catwalk collections for Drapers in 1998.

At the Hong Kong Polytechnic University she established the first MA in Fashion and Textiles in the Asia Pacific region, and was Head of Department of Fashion and Textiles at De Montfort University between 2003-2014, becoming Director of the Fashion and Design Institute in Mauritius on sabbatical from DMU. In 2014 she became Head of Fashion at the University of Northampton, and in 2019 moved to The University of South Wales to become Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Creative Industries. She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA, an academic consultant the University of Hull, works with the Open University and has been a visiting professor, guest judge and academic consultant at numerous global institutions.

An expert in colour forecasting, the subject of her PhD, she worked as a forecaster with Global Colour Research, has published in books, journals, delivered conference papers, guest lectures and keynote speeches.

Huw Swayne

Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, University of South Wales

An experienced manager and lecturer Huw is currently Head of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience in the Faculty of Creative Industries at University of South Wales. A Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the RSA, he is a director of qualification awarding body Agored Cymru, and board member of the National Society for Education in Art & Design. A former Trustee of CHEAD, Huw works extensively with awarding bodies, regional and national governments advising on policy formation and implementation, as well as a QA role with subjects as diverse as law, policing, nursing and midwifery.

Roshni Bhagotra (Session 4)

Digital Learning Coordinator, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL

Roshni works closely with course teams to support the development of digital learning and advise on best practice for digital pedagogies in arts education. Roshni has experience working within a variety of student and staff facing technical and academic job families in further and higher education. She is passionate about equality, diversity, access and inclusion within arts education and explores these themes within her creative practice and work as an artist and practitioner. Her ongoing research and investigation into online, physical and digital creative spaces stemmed from Rounded Radio, which is an online listening platform Roshni created in 2016. The radio station exists as an extension of her practice as well as a standalone radio station whose aim is to act as a platform focused on challenging and exploring listening experiences through live radio shows sharing a variety of discussion, music and performance-based content.

Katie Gardner

Digital Learning Producer, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL

Katie leads on and contributes to the research, development and evaluation of digital learning and teaching practices. Katie’s research into inclusive arts pedagogies developed from her creative practice as a voice artist, and her musicological research investigating the intersections of circus arts and opera performance. She is an active member of the Research Subgroup of the Anti-Racism & Learning Technology Community of Practice, and recently presented with her cross-institutional colleagues on how learning technologists can use action research methods to drive anti-racist change at the local and institutional levels at the 2021 ALT Conference. Previously, she held the posts of Lecturer in Digital Pedagogy at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) and Ashmolean Junior Teaching Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. She is a final-year doctoral candidate in Music at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford, and she earned her MFA in VoiceArts from California Institute of the Arts.

Ania Udalowska

Digital Learning Coordinators, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL

In her role, she often acts as the first point of contact for students and staff in resolving technical queries and seeking recommendations on best practices in digital learning design. Ania is a new addition to the team, she has previously worked as Online Learning Specialist and Associate Lecturer in Psychology at Aberystwyth University where she ran several projects focusing on student direct engagement in shaping digital learning and teaching provision in line with the students as partners approach. She has recently graduated with MSc in Applied Positive Psychology which is reflected in her interest in well-being supportive design to digital learning and teaching, and the impact of technologies on wellbeing, engagement and motivation.

Richard Ward

Senior Digital Learning Coordinator, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL

Richard leads on and contributes to the support and development of digital learning and staff development across Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts (part of UAL). Richard has many years experience in digital learning, working in both further and higher education. He has a passion for inclusive teaching practices, helping and supporting inclusive and accessible teaching through digital systems. During the pandemic, Richard worked hard enabling staff to work online and helped move the university into an online delivery. Richard is now focused on working with the innovative work that has been done during the pandemic to enable students to get the most out of their time at the university.

Dr Dave Webster

Associate Dean of Learning and Teaching, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, UAL

Dave has over 20 years experience within Higher and Further Education sectors at both a national and international level. In 2020 he completed a PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University which focused on the Arts curriculum. He is passionate about Art and Design pedagogy and has led and developed many curriculum innovations within post-graduate, undergraduate and further education. During the pandemic he worked closely with Richard Ward to support all courses into fully online mode. He subsequently, working with UAL colleagues, developed the Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon Digital Learning team. Equality, diversity and inclusivity have always been central to his work and whilst recognising new challenges and barriers exist in online environments, he sees that new digital learning practices have offered critical opportunities for greater inclusivity in arts pedagogic practices and curriculum.



25 Nov 2021


10:00 am - 1:00 pm


Members event


Via Microsoft Teams
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