MoMA visits Melbourne

December 13 / 126

 Professor Jeanette Hoorn and Deborah Howes with Linda Sproul, Head of Education and Public Programs, from the Melbourne Museum.
Professor Jeanette Hoorn and Deborah Howes with Linda Sproul, Head of Education and Public Programs, from the Melbourne Museum.

Deborah Howes, Director of Digital Learning for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, has visited the University to discuss global connections on learning and arts resources as part of a cross-University workshop.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Pip Pattison hosted the breakfast workshop, which brought together the University’s academics, curatorial teams, museum managers and e-learning specialists with partners from the National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne Museum.

"We saw how Melbourne's membership of Coursera and the development of our first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered a great platform for future learning engagement in 2013," Professor Pattison said.

"Alongside other leading institutions in the Coursera partnership, including MoMA, we recognise how the role of arts and cultural resources – from the ancient through to the contemporary – form a vital component of enriching the learning experience of many more people globally."

In outlining her work at MoMA, Ms Howes emphasised how significant it was for the Museum to actively integrate digital learning as an offering to the public.

"The new engagement model for MoMA – Towards a Digital Museum – is all about the public interacting with us and the collection, within and beyond the Museum walls," Ms Howes said.

"We're also seeing a dissolving of barriers between how we work together to develop on-line information and educational programs."

University academics gave examples of building effective on-line courses and active development of digital materials through to the more pragmatic aspects of managing copyright.

Professor Jeanette Hoorn's course 'Sexing the Canvas' will launch on Coursera in 2014.

"We've taught this course on gender and the arts in the National Gallery of Victoria and we're keen to translate that physical experience for others through the MOOC – it will also highlight the fantastically rich collection in Melbourne to a new audience," she said.

Professor Gregor Kennedy said there are challenges in online learning and the Arts, such as accessing relevant arts materials and artefacts.

"We can draw on a great curatorial team at Melbourne to consider some of the practical issues,” he said.

“Linking internationally with others in this area will also provide significant insight to how we can continue to innovate and build great learning environments online."

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