RAISE Conference 2013 -Student Engagement

Raise-conference 2013_logoOn the 13th September, representatives from the department of Art’s staff/student research group gave a presentation on OSCAR the Online Studio Community for Art at Reading at the annual RAISE conference for student engagement in Nottingham.

The presentation received a large amount of feedback, amongst which included praise for the dialogue driven online crit system, which encourages students to share their work online to their colleagues in a comfortable digital space of deconstruction and discussion. Much was made of OSCAR’s permeation into the pre-undergraduate student group that arrived this Autumn; over 60 of which had already created an account on the site in the summer -pre-enrolment. OSCAR has proven to be a great channel to capture the anticipation many new students have in coming to university for the first time. Also, with so much of what art students create today being drawn from the communication in the studio between staff and peers, OSCAR generates new, multi-medial formats for that communication to take place.

As Art students it was an exciting privilege to represent the University of Reading at the RAISE conference, on a fully paid trip to the city of Nottingham (supported by Reading’s Digitally Ready), not to mention the unlimited coffee machine and 3 course lunch!! We were fortunate to present after this fuelling break. During our presentation we were treated as peers rather than students by the other members of the conference and the feedback we received exceeded our expectations, with some even telling us they wished they had thought of the idea themselves. Many of the speakers at RAISE specialised in politics and science, and the presence of two art students seemed to add a warmly welcomed diversity. We hope to have the opportunity to give the presentation at Reading soon –so watch this space!

Antonia Bamford (BA Art)
Robbie McKane (BA Art & Film, Theatre and Television)

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