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Museum Studies Guide: Museums, Learning and Technology

Resources for museum studies

Learning in a Digital World

Course objectives are a great way for us to communicate our expectations to the students while providing guidance for the direction of the class.  Many people follow the ABCD method of building course objectives.  Using this method instructors define their Audience, detail the Behavior that they would like that audience to be able to perform the following instruction under specified Conditions to a certain Degree.  For example, an objective for this blog post might be:

Following the reading, Audience Members will be able to state the four parts of the ABCD method 100% of the time.

One of the most important parts of your objective is the Condition and the verb used as part of this condition.  Often times these verbs come directly from the list of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Bloom’s Verbs.  Bloom's taxonomy defines six levels of thinking.  These levels are typically grouped as the LOTs or Lower Order Thinking Skills (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application) and the HOTs or Higher Order Thinking Skills (Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation).  For a list of Bloom’s Verbs please see this short resource:

However, you may have noticed that these verbs do not take into account many of our new 21st-century digital literacy skills.  That’s where Andrew Churches comes in.  Churches published a revision to Bloom’s Taxonomy called Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.  Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy includes new verbs that have emerged as a direct result of digital media in the classroom.  For example at the Analysis stage in the taxonomy, new verbs include: Mashing, Linking, Reverse-engineering, Cracking, Media clipping, and Mind-mapping.  Check out the tools linked below for more information!

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) uses technologies to enhance (or augment) one's current view of the environment around them.  Sound, GPS, Imagery, and storytelling can all be used as environmental augmenters in an AR experience.  There is a good deal of great literature available out there on AR, but for a quick overview please see:  

Mobile Learning in Museums

The field of mobile learning in museums is quickly expanding.  To learn more about mobile learning in general, check out, this Educause Review article on Mobile Learning, and/or mLearnopedia


Museums use the word "interactive" as a noun, to define an exhibit that engages a visitor.  Interactivity occurs on a spectrum.  Other fields also use this spectrum to design and develop products.  Computer-based Training, for example, uses the following levels:

Level 1: Passive Interactivity - "Page Turner"

Level 2: Limited Participation - Simple simulations

Level 3: Complex Participation - User has come control over variables

Level 4: Real-Time Participation - Real-time performance


Virtual Exhibits

The definition of virtual exhibit is broad, ranging from a text-based website to a highly-interactive collection of virtual objects.  As you examine these and other virtual exhibits, consider what the learning objectives for the exhibit may be, and where it falls on the spectrum of interactivity.