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Friday, November 8 • 3:30pm - 3:55pm
MOOCseums: Using the Open Movement to Invigorate Local Museums

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The societal institution of the museum, a pillar in American and global cultures for over 200 years, faces unprecedented challenges to its survival.  As the creation and distribution of culture, media, information and content shifts from longstanding producers to an ever-expanding world of producer-users (Benkler, 2006), museums have struggled to adapt their practices.  Museums, institutions designed to classify, display and care for culturally and historically relevant artifacts (S. 3984, 2010), have long worried about how methods of massive publication could harm its status as an authority and distributor of these artifacts.  This is despite research showing the benefit open access and digital distribution can provide for the museum as a culturally defined knowledge base and learning center (Simon, 2010), one people will continue to visit despite the ubiquity of its artifacts in the public sphere (Berger, 1972).  Projects such as Steve.Museum and GLAM-WIKI have utilized open access methodologies to place digital artifacts in the public sphere, producing crowdsourced definitions and tags for a greater public use.  While noteworthy, these initiatives are limited in scope, utilized primarily by groups of museum administrators.  Digital technologies incorporating the open movement have yet to be utilized to engage museums? extensive population of patrons and members, nor have they been woven into existing museum education departments. 
An opportunity exists for museums to utilize open access methodology and open educational resources in creating a digital space to provide unique and authentic interaction with cultural artifacts and experts.  This presentation details one such experiment: a model for museums to engage in open online courses regarding collections or traveling exhibits.  Using George Siemens? connectivism (2005, 2008) as both a learning theory and pedagogical model, these courses will utilize open platforms, communication tools and resources to create a digital experience tied to the museum?s mission.  A museum can utilize open software, open resources and open networks to design a course of specified length, organizing facilitators to gear discussion and provide scaffolding for course patrons as they navigate topics and projects.  The advent of digital publishing, social media and low-cost communication tools can allow a unique perspective of and access to the epicenter of the museum and its artifact creators and scholars, something different from yet complimentary to an in-person visit or course.
This research-in-progress is a case study of one such museum adopting an open online course as supplement to a travelling collection.  This moderate-sized museum (waiting for IRB clearance to announce) will offer a four- to six-week course organized around a traveling collection of contemporary photography.  Patrons of the course will engage with each other and the facilitators through a mix of open content, discussion boards, social media, personal digital artifacts, synchronous class sessions, master classes with experts and artists, and the development of their own digital artifacts and photography.  As similar exhibits have displayed at other regional museums, the museum hopes to see how offering an open course can affect interest in and patronage of the museum, both on-line and tangible.  

avatar for Rolin Moe

Rolin Moe

Doctoral Candidate, Pepperdine University
Authentic learning environments.

Friday November 8, 2013 3:30pm - 3:55pm
White Pine

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