Streaming Media

Abstract

In Spring 2014, Omeka was first used as part of a course assignment at Wheaton College. Students in Professor Leah Niederstadt’s Introduction to Museum Studies were each asked to conduct provenance research on an object from Wheaton’s Permanent Collection. They shared their research using Omeka, an online content management platform. Throughout the semester, students learned new technology, conducted research using primary and secondary sources, and identified images to support the provenance narratives they discovered. Lastly, they presented their research using Omeka. Assessment was conducted at the start and end of the semester to determine the project’s effect on student learning. Niederstadt used the results to revise the assignment for her Summer 2014 iteration of the course. In Fall 2014, Professor Claire Buck incorporated a similar assignment into her First-Year Seminar. Fourteen first-year students created an online exhibition of seven WWI posters from Wheaton’s collection. Online tools, including Omeka and Google docs, were used to foster collaborative learning, integrate the acquisition of research skills with new technologies, and move First-Year writing pedagogy beyond the college essay. Both assignments involved learner-centered pedagogies including object- and project-based learning and service learning, as the students’ research results were added to object files held in the Permanent Collection. Furthermore, collaboration was key to the success of these projects; and Wheaton’s archivists, Digital Assets Curator, and Humanities Library Liaisons supported each class with workshops and research assistance. This paper uses these case studies to highlight some of the challenges and successes in using Omeka and object-based learning for course-based assignments. Although we encountered challenges using Omeka, the “Oops!” factor was an intentional aspect of our pedagogy. In each course, students were faced with the prospect of failure, whether technological or research-based, and had to learn to adapt accordingly.

Session

Session 3A: Digital Project-Based Learning in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Location

Dalton 300

Start Date

5-20-2015 3:15 PM

End Date

5-20-2015 4:30 PM

 
May 20th, 3:15 PM May 20th, 4:30 PM

Objects, Omeka, and the "Oops!" Factor: Two Case Studies of Collection-Based Projects at Wheaton College

Dalton 300

In Spring 2014, Omeka was first used as part of a course assignment at Wheaton College. Students in Professor Leah Niederstadt’s Introduction to Museum Studies were each asked to conduct provenance research on an object from Wheaton’s Permanent Collection. They shared their research using Omeka, an online content management platform. Throughout the semester, students learned new technology, conducted research using primary and secondary sources, and identified images to support the provenance narratives they discovered. Lastly, they presented their research using Omeka. Assessment was conducted at the start and end of the semester to determine the project’s effect on student learning. Niederstadt used the results to revise the assignment for her Summer 2014 iteration of the course. In Fall 2014, Professor Claire Buck incorporated a similar assignment into her First-Year Seminar. Fourteen first-year students created an online exhibition of seven WWI posters from Wheaton’s collection. Online tools, including Omeka and Google docs, were used to foster collaborative learning, integrate the acquisition of research skills with new technologies, and move First-Year writing pedagogy beyond the college essay. Both assignments involved learner-centered pedagogies including object- and project-based learning and service learning, as the students’ research results were added to object files held in the Permanent Collection. Furthermore, collaboration was key to the success of these projects; and Wheaton’s archivists, Digital Assets Curator, and Humanities Library Liaisons supported each class with workshops and research assistance. This paper uses these case studies to highlight some of the challenges and successes in using Omeka and object-based learning for course-based assignments. Although we encountered challenges using Omeka, the “Oops!” factor was an intentional aspect of our pedagogy. In each course, students were faced with the prospect of failure, whether technological or research-based, and had to learn to adapt accordingly.