Museums and the Web 2009: E-Learning workshop


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This is the presentation delivered by Carolyn Royston and Steve Gardam at the Museums and the Web conference in Indianapolis, 15 April 2009.

Carolyn and Steve give a simple, practical guide to steps helpful in developing online e-learning resources. They use their experience of creating WebQuests, as part of the National Museums Online Learning Project (NMOLP) in the UK as a case study.

WebQuests from NMOLP are open-ended, enquiry based resources for schools, which use the 'raw' content from nine national UK museum and gallery collections, set within a carefully constructed framework of supporting information.

WebQuests can be accessed from any of the websites of the nine partner museums:

British Museum
Imperial War Museum
National Portrait Gallery
Natural History Museum
Royal Armouries
Sir John Soane's Museum
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Wallace Collection

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Museums and the Web 2009: E-Learning workshop

  1. 2. E-Learning workshop Museums and the Web 2009 Carolyn Royston, NMOLP Steve Gardam, IWM
  2. 3. Aims of the Workshop <ul><li>Gain an understanding of how to plan an e-Learning resource </li></ul><ul><li>Explore and share different ideas for your own e-Learning resources </li></ul><ul><li>Create an action plan to take back to your institution </li></ul>
  3. 4. Who we are <ul><li>Carolyn Royston </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Manager for the National Museums Online Learning Project (NMOLP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Previously Head of e-Learning at a top 25 UK new media agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developed several large cultural and educational online learning projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary school teacher </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Who we are <ul><li>Steve Gardam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Head of Corporate Education, Imperial War Museum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IWM’s representative for the National Museums Online Learning Project </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Workshop approach <ul><li>Workshop draws on our experience of creating school resources for the National Museums Online Learning Project (NMOLP) </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout we will show examples from NMOLP of different planning stages </li></ul><ul><li>Approach adaptable and scaleable to fit any e-Learning project – regardless of size and budget </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities throughout for you to share and plan for your own resources </li></ul>
  6. 7. NMOLP - What is it? <ul><li>Exciting, large-scale UK digital learning project </li></ul><ul><li>Audiences are students, teachers & lifelong learners </li></ul><ul><li>9 national museums working in partnership </li></ul><ul><li>First time UK national museums have worked together for public access </li></ul><ul><li>3 year project launched March ‘09 </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the UK Government </li></ul><ul><li>British Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Imperial War Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Natural History Museum </li></ul><ul><li>National Portrait Gallery </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Armouries </li></ul><ul><li>Sir John Soane’s Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Tate </li></ul><ul><li>Victoria and Albert Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Wallace Collection </li></ul>
  7. 8. What are we delivering for our audiences? <ul><li>Resources for schools (WebQuests) </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for lifelong learners (Creative Spaces) </li></ul><ul><li>Linking together 9 national collections via a federated search </li></ul><ul><li>Resources that can be used & shared across all 9 national museums </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging new and existing audiences with museum digital collections </li></ul>
  8. 9. Workshop programme <ul><li>Planning your e-Learning resource </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a framework for production of your resource </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches to online content </li></ul><ul><li>Your next steps </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  9. 10. 1. Planning your resource
  10. 11. Why is planning important? <ul><li>NMOLP had 9 partner museums, so we needed a common understanding of the project’s aims and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Time constraints imposed by funders meant that we needed to have a clear plan and way forward in stages </li></ul><ul><li>Designated staff at NMOLP partners did not necessarily cover every area (learning, web, project planning) so planning needed to be checked with other colleagues across each institution </li></ul>
  11. 12. Planning your resource - Key questions <ul><li>Be as specific as you can about your target audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal or formal? Teachers or students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you genuinely meeting an audience need? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your aims: What do you want to achieve with this resource? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal objectives e.g. repurpose existing content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support a new education programme? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fits with a wider museum strategy e.g. increase access to ‘hidden’ collections, improve online services? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spend to save i.e. take a funding opportunity for longer-term benefit? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Planning your resource - Key questions <ul><li>Who is leading this project? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish the roles of project leader and their team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allocate key roles and responsibilities from the start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up lines of communication for project team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who else might you need to involve? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How is the project funded? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there implications when the funding ends? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do the funders’ requirements shape your project aims? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Activity 1: Planning your resource <ul><li>Work in groups of 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Pick one idea in your group for a new e-Learning resource </li></ul><ul><li>Fill in the template for yourself to take away </li></ul><ul><li>10 mins activity </li></ul><ul><li>10 mins feedback </li></ul>
  14. 15. 2. Developing a framework for your resource
  15. 16. NMOLP framework <ul><li>Project plan gave project a common understanding of aims and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Needed to expand this i.e. map out broad functionality, design considerations, content requirements </li></ul><ul><li>This step enabled us to visualise what we were producing, highlight challenges to overcome, and detail resources required for delivery </li></ul>
  16. 17. Step 1 - Develop a framework <ul><li>What is a framework? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An approach for developing your resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and information design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper-based </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is it important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Try different ideas and approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build on your overall project aim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual approach easy for everyone to understand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps you to identify next steps </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Step 2 - Test your ideas <ul><li>Test out your ideas on your target audience - use paper concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus group with pupils and teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invite other stakeholders to attend sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be iterative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to try different approaches and ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it simple to keep costs down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set time aside in your project timeline for this very important stage </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Step 3 - Wireframes <ul><li>Keep it very simple – work with tools you know </li></ul><ul><li>Wireframes can range from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Storyboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-its on big pieces of paper </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple designs on screen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic prototype to explore functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most important aspect is to see how web design, interface and content will work together </li></ul>
  19. 20. A T Register | Log in Logo Who is Charles Darwin? You are a film director. You have been asked to make a storyboard for a short film about the life of Charles Darwin called Voyages of Discovery. Your challenge is to tell Darwin’s story and show why his ideas are still relevant today. + Green Iguana, Frank Greenaway © National History Museum, London So, what do you know about Darwin? Write down your first thoughts in your notebook. Your Storyboard Challenge Glossary: Storyboards are an arrangement of scenes in sequence to show the content of a film. BM G
  20. 25. Step 4 - Draft content <ul><li>Who is writing your content? </li></ul><ul><li>Remember you need to write to suit your audience(s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Young children? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Older children? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are your learning objectives? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly refer back to your overall aim for your resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make every word work hard to deliver key learning objectives </li></ul></ul>
  21. 26. Step 5 - User testing <ul><li>Build into lifecycle of the project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doesn’t need a big budget </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan for more than one round of user testing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working model </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decide how you will evaluate each round of user testing and how it will inform future iterations </li></ul>
  22. 27. Activity 2: Plan your framework <ul><li>What are the next steps for planning your resource? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you go about making wireframes or storyboards? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will write draft content? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you organise user testing? </li></ul><ul><li>Work in groups of 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the template </li></ul><ul><li>Activity 15 mins, discussion and feedback 10 mins </li></ul>
  23. 28. 3. Approaches to online content
  24. 29. What makes good online content? <ul><li>Limit your text </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the best use of imagery e.g. clarity and impact </li></ul><ul><li>Use multi-media if you can, but keep it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, simple and intuitive design </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget your end users, keep testing ideas! </li></ul>
  25. 32. WebQuests <ul><li>IWM WebQuests </li></ul>
  26. 33. Key questions <ul><li>How will you produce content appropriate for your audience? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will provide content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What format will the content take? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they have the right skills? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How will you make sure that your content maximises the potential of the web? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you transform raw content into an online resource? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you need content templates for your resource? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How will you manage your Quality Control? </li></ul>
  27. 34. Activity 3: Developing your online content <ul><li>Work in groups of 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the template </li></ul><ul><li>Activity 10 mins, discussion and feedback 5 mins </li></ul>
  28. 35. 4. Summary
  29. 36. Summary and next steps <ul><li>You should now have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An outline project plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan for developing a framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A guide to developing your online content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are your next steps? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spend 5 mins writing down 3 key next steps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  30. 37. Contact details <ul><li>Carolyn Royston </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] (from 27 April) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Steve Gardam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>