Between Text and Object: Digital Transformation of Teaching through Objects

This project will develop and test a digital platform to support the integration of museum and library collections into Oxford’s world-class teaching.

This project will integrate Oxford’s world class museum and library collections, its unique style of teaching, and its track record of digital innovation, to transform teaching and learning in and beyond Oxford. Building on the extensive cross-disciplinary teaching experience of the Mellon-funded University Engagement Programme (UEP), it will develop a new online platform that uses specialised imaging hardware and software development to mesh text, image, and object in the learning process. The core objective is to create an innovative online tool for collaborative study, easy revision, and rigorous assessment of teaching and learning practices that makes museum collections as accessible as library materials, and strengthens the argument for the use of material culture in Oxford’s mainstream teaching.

The integration of objects into mainstream university teaching reanimates and refreshes both course content and the role of objects in academic life, and provides a richer and more nuanced context for the study of texts and images. The aim of this pilot project is therefore to create an essential framework to enable access to, and sustained encounter with, digitised images of the objects used in teaching, so that students and teachers can interact with them meaningfully, and consider them accessible intellectual resources. This IT innovation seed fund project aims to bring these riches together in order to pilot a potentially transformative step-change in teaching and learning, with potential applications across the University.

This project is funded by the IT Innovation Seed Fund.