Between Text and Object: Digital Transformation of Teaching through Objects (CABiNET)

IT Innovation ChallengesStaff project carried out by the Oxford Internet Institute, the Faculty of History, the Museum of the History of Science, and the Ashmolean Museum.

Trinity Term 2015 round

See also Cabinet (blog post)

For more information, please visit the project website or contact 


The proposal integrates Oxford’s world class museum and library collections, its unique style of teaching, and its track record of digital innovation, to transform teaching and learning in and beyond Oxford.  Building on the extensive cross-disciplinary teaching experience of the Mellon-funded University Engagement Programme (UEP), it will develop a new online platform that uses specialised imaging hardware and software development to mesh text, image, and object in the learning process. The core objective is to create an innovative online tool for collaborative study, easy revision, and rigorous assessment of teaching and learning practices that makes museum collections as accessible as library materials, and strengthens the argument for the use of material culture in Oxford’s mainstream teaching.

The project has three stages. First, we will work with at least two existing cross-disciplinary courses to develop the online study platform, and to model how object teaching (both physical and digital) can be integrated sustainably in the curriculum. This pilot will then guide construction of a digital study platform for undergraduate courses in the ‘scientific revolution’ of the seventeenth century, as a test case for combining sites, objects, images, and texts on a single, highly interactive learning platform. After the project concludes, the evaluation of both stages will inform the creation of a flexible set of tools for cross-disciplinary teaching that can be adapted across a range of cognate fields and be embedded within the curriculum across the University.

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