Inspiring Students and Enhancing their Learning across Disciplines

COLLECTIONS HAVE BEEN USED FOR TEACHING since the very early nineteenth century and have shaped how disciplines as diverse as geology and drama are taught. Today, students use collections in new and different ways across a wide range of disciplines in seminar rooms, laboratories, museum galleries and online.

Objects – be they fossils, paintings or innovative new materials – are vital to the teaching of many undergraduate and post-graduate courses, with handling sessions, gallery discussions, problem-based learning and practical classes providing deeper and more memorable experiences than might be offered by more traditional types of teaching. New online catalogues, 2D and 3D image libraries and dynamic and imaginative teaching resources are enabling students to access, interrogate, and work with objects outside the university, personalising and sharing collections use, deconstructing objects and ideas. Museums and galleries provide unusual and absorbing environments for both formal and informal learning; they uniquely enhance the experience of being a student.

Students learn using museum objects on more than 700 university courses in subjects as diverse as law, medicine, interior design, and languages

University of Stirling app

A student on placement from the MSc in Computing at the University of Stirling has created an app which enables visitors to access information about sculptures in the University’s Art Collection, unlocking additional information such as films and audio files and locating other sculpture on campus.

Collections of UCL Art Museum

The collections of UCL Art Museum serve as teaching resources for a wide range of disciplines including English, Geography and Advanced Philosophy of Science. In surveys across a range of UCL disciplines, 67% of students say that object-based learning is a more effective way of learning than listening to a talk or lecture.

Hunterian Associates Programme

The Hunterian Associates Programme, University of Glasgow provides an inventive platform for postgraduate researchers to share their expert knowledge with a wider public audience and to develop their experience and skills in public engagement. By developing creative ways to discuss and debate their ideas with the broader public, Hunterian Associates enhance their perspectives on their ... more »

Object Based Learning for Higher Education

Object Based Learning for Higher Education (OBL4HE) is a collaborative project between UCL Museums and University of Reading Museums. New learning resources have been developed around the combined museums’ collections, underpinned by around 150,000 digital object records. These resources are tailored to meet the needs of higher education students, and are available for other educational ... more »

Arthur Silver Award

The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture at Middlesex University instigated the Arthur Silver Award, an undergraduate prize which encourages Art, Design and Media students to use the Museum’s collections for inspiration. The collections are an excellent resource for visual research leading to students’ own creative practice. This annual prize has substantially raised students’ awareness ... more »
Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Object-based Learning

The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge has developed a fruitful collaboration with the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education, enabling object-based learning to be embedded in the teaching of all Primary PGCE students, and subject specific Secondary PGCE students including English, Religious Studies and Modern Foreign Languages. In 2013, more than 200 students took part ... more » | Tagged