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ARTyFACTS: Designing an online learning environment for art objects


... software engineers, multimedia designers, musicians, pedagogical scientists and ... galleries, museums or owners of collections could use for their own artifacts ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ARTyFACTS: Designing an online learning environment for art objects

ARTyFACTS Designing an online learning
environment for art objects
  • Claire Bradley
  • Learning Technology Research Institute,
    University of North London
  • Co-authors John Cook, Peter Oriogun, Kathleen
    Henderson, Anne Baker

  • ARTyFACTS - an online learning environment for
    users to engage with art objects
  • An on-going research project
  • Funded from a small grant from the Arts and
    Humanities Research Board in the UK
  • A collaborative team-based project comprising
    artists, lecturers, software engineers,
    multimedia designers, musicians, pedagogical
    scientists and learning technologists

Project goals
  • Could we apply digital technologies to provide a
    rich and multisensory experience for remote users
    to engage with art objects?
  • Allow users to get under the skin of culture by
    offering simultaneous layers of meaning and
    supplementary contextual data
  • Provide a system which galleries, museums or
    owners of collections could use for their own
  • Meet the needs of a range of users
  • formal learning - students, art historians,
    curators, etc.
  • informal learning - art lovers, tourists, etc.

The scope of the project
  • The project focussed on 4 areas to explore if
    these goals were achievable
  • the design of the learning environment
  • system architecture and design of a customisable
    multisensory toolkit (CM toolkit)
  • development of a small prototype to be able to
    test the environment design and architecture
  • evaluation of the prototype
  • This presentation will focus on
  • design considerations
  • the prototype learning environment created
  • areas identified for further development

Design considerations 1
  • The design of the environment centred on a key
    research question
  • can extensive information, sound, media, images,
    data and hyperlinks relating to an object be
    successfully interfaced to give a sense of that
    object to a remote viewer?
  • Pedagogic approach
  • based on constructivist principles - enabling
    rich user-centred interactions and the social
    construction of knowledge via a multimedia
    learning environment

Design considerations 2
  • Applying digital technologies
  • current digital imaging techniques - reveal the
    layers of detail and information normally
    invisible in artworks
  • by digitising available records and constructing
    models we can contribute to the digital
    preservation of artworks and provide richer
    contextual information
  • e.g. photos, video clips, press articles,
  • virtual models, reconstructions and simulations

Design considerations 3
  • The integration of databases and knowledge-based
    systems - enable objects and information to be
    classified, stored and retrieved via user choice
    or a computer-based agent
  • The Internet as a delivery platform allows
  • access to everyone with an Internet connection
    (no physical distribution)
  • delivery of multimedia content (Flash-based
    animations and interactive movies, streaming
    media, QuickTime VR panoramas or models)
  • access to further Internet-based resources

Design considerations 4
  • Development of user profiles
  • the aim was to base the presentation of content
    and its retrieval from the database upon user
  • so that data components presented are more
    closely related to users interests
  • initially 7 user types were identified
  • for the prototype these were narrowed down to 3
  • art historian, artist and tourist
  • each was outlined in a specification

Design considerations 5
  • Architecture of the Customisable Multimedia (CM)
  • the main objective of the toolkit design was to
    devise a system design that would allow
    components to be re-used - by the developers or
    museum/gallery curators
  • the architecture was specified using software
    engineering techniques
  • 6 modules were identified web page and service
    manager, web services, user manager, object
    handlers, search engine, database management
  • the result is a generic architecture for
    generating multisensory learning environments

The ARTyFACTS prototype system
  • The prototype system was intentionally kept small
    in its scope to enable our research aims to be
    explored and then evaluated to gain feedback
  • Content selection and creation - limited to 2 art

Art object 1 The Doge
Portrait of Leonardo Loredan, the Doge of
Venice Painted by Giovanni Bellini in
1501-1504 Courtesy of The National Gallery,
Art object 2 The House
House Site-specific sculpture created by Rachel
Whiteread Concrete cast of a 3-story terraced
house 1993 - demolished in 1994 Courtesy of The
Anthony DOffay Gallery, London, and Rachel
Entering the learning environment
  • Users enter the learning environment from an
    opening screen
  • From here they select a user profile and enter
    the environment

The user interface
Navigational device
  • Access to the available multimedia resources is
    via the spiral
  • The spiral provides a simplistic visual
    representation of the available resources and
    their contextual relevance to the central object
  • Resources are represented by thumbnail icons

Map of the area of Venice
Description of the Doges hat
The learning experience
  • For each artwork, a unique learning experience
  • the learner chooses what they want to look at,
    firstly by selecting a profile that matches their
    interests, and then by selecting from the
    available multimedia resources
  • For The Doge painting contextual material
    provides examples of what 16th century Venice was
  • For The House resources include press articles
    and photographs of the sculpture, including
    photos of it being demolished

Areas for further development
  • Usability
  • Test the CM Toolkit model
  • Incorporate metadata and comply with developing
    standards for learning objects and learning
    environments - will facilitate scaling-up and
  • Improve user profiling to utilise intelligent
  • Extend the functionality of the learning
    environment to enable interaction and
    communication amongst users
  • Enhance the multisensory learning experience

  • The project has provided a vehicle for the
    exploration of a number of areas of interest to
    the project team
  • The goal was to try and develop online systems
    and multisensory learning environments, which are
    vital to enable the enhanced learning experiences
    required for engaging with art objects gt
    e-learning, lifelong learning, informal learning
  • By harnessing and applying digital online
    technologies we can more successfully create a
    rich learning experience for remote audiences and
    provide opportunities that are not possible in
    the physical world

Contact details
Claire Bradley Learning Technology Research
Institute, University of North
London http//