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Greek and Latin papyri as generative learning objects
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Greek and Latin papyri as generative learning objects


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Presentation by Kate Cooper and Jamie Wood at a seminar on Generative Learning Objects at the University of Manchester, February, 2010.

Presentation by Kate Cooper and Jamie Wood at a seminar on Generative Learning Objects at the University of Manchester, February, 2010.

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  • 1. Greek and Latin papyri as generative learning objects
    Kate Cooper and Jamie Wood
    University of Manchester
  • 2. Collaborative project between Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester & the CILASS at the University of Sheffield
    Funded by the HEA Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology
    John Rylands Library, Greek Papyrus 8, Liturgical Fragment (recto), 5th century
    John Rylands Library, Greek Papyrus 6, Nicene Creed, 6th century
  • 3. Project aims
    Generate an inquiry-based learning (IBL) design for use on the MA module The History of the Bookin the Middle Ages;
    • Develop models of IBL for use with papyrus and generative learning objects (GLOs);
    • 4. Consider how the learning design could be adapted for other year groups & other objects;
    • 5. Disseminate the learning design and findings;
    • 6. Encourage students to understand papyri as both objects and texts and develop research skills;
    • 7. Support the use for teaching/research training of an outstanding collection;
    • 8. Provide a user-friendly student portal for an existing image database (LUNA) and expand the digitisation of material in the collections to overlap better with the needs and interests of MA-level students at Manchester;
    • 9. Assess the best IBL model for MA students as they move toward 'open' or self-generated research questions.
  • Existing module: History of the Book in the Middle Ages
    MA Core module for MA in Medieval Studies at Manchester
    Taught on-site in the John Rylands Library, Deansgate
    Assessed by individual research projects on MSS or papyri from the Rylands collection
    LUNA image database
    John Rylands Library, Greek Papyrus 12, certificate of Pagan Sacrifice, AD 250
  • 10. What we did
    • Conducted research into existing GLOs and associated pedagogies;
    • 11. Examined teaching methods on The History of the Book module;
    • 12. Explored pedagogies for supporting engagement with physical objects;
    • 13. Experimented with and evaluated prototype GLOs and IBL designs.
  • Findings
    • While GLOs are visually and aurally engaging and stimulating, they are also guided and linear.
    • 14. These may be desirable features at lower levels, but less well-suited to engaging students in the ‘open’ enquiries of MA-level IBL.
    • 15. LUNA image database potentially very useful for promoting and supporting IBL using papyri/ MS.
    By offering a user-friendly interface to guide students in using the existing digitised images from the Rylands, we can support students in familiarizing themselves with seemingly ‘foreign’ objects such as papyri and MSS, in generating their own questions about these ancient sources – the key starting point for IBL.
  • 16. The new Blackboard site – 2009
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20. LUNA database
  • 21. Evaluation
    Questionnaire in December 2009
    All of the students used the materials on the Blackboard site, with usage increasing across the semester
    For the following purposes:
    Research for presentations/ essays
    Browsing manuscripts to select for research
    Comparing manuscripts
  • 22. Questionnaire Results
    Students all thought that the resources were helpful
    They found the new interface very useful, and suggested that it be expanded, with additional images made available
    Remote access was useful
    The interface was valuable not only for exploring research ropics but also for reviewing class discussions
    LUNA was also appreciated
    John Rylands Library, Greek Papyrus 112, Certificates of Pagan Sacrifice
  • 23. Using the interface to support the link between class discussion and individual study (whether revision or independent reasearch)
    Allows students to examine and discuss features otherwise difficult to view as a group
    Allows students to follow up issues that arise in class, with built-in link to bibliographical and other information for more in-depth study
    Allows students to explore their own insights and questions arising from class discussion
  • 24. Outcomes
    The new interface.
    Presentation at joint workshop between MA courses in medieval history at the universities of Manchester and Sheffield (University of Sheffield, 2008).
    Poster presentation at the Learning Through Enquiry Alliance Conference (University of Reading, 2009).
    Some of the digital material is now being used by one of the MA students to develop a GLO for use with first years in Combined Studies at Manchester.
    This presentation…
  • 25. Further thoughts
    What next?  Resource implications of further expansion
    Who next? Can the platform be made available to students outside the Manchester Blackboard environment?
    Latin MS 104: Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, 110R