New biological sciences laboratories at Macquarie University have a range of advanced learning technologies to cater for large numbers of undergraduate students. This has provided the opportunity to develop an extended series of integrated exhibition spaces. This distributed model of university exhibition work, effectively turning the museum inside out, has not compromised the role of the fixed exhibition space, or museum, within the biological sciences precinct. Instead it has acted as a catalyst for rethinking student engagement with the museum. A working party was established, including student representation, to map collection content with staff expertise. This project has enabled the development of an enhanced digital presence for the museum where multiple cross disciplinary narratives are being developed around collection objects. The rationale, process and preliminary outcomes are described in this paper. It represents a useful model of student engagement for a museum with restricted space and financial resources in any academic discipline. The processes generated by this change reinforce the primacy of an object-based pedagogy in tertiary education and more closely align collection content with institutional mission.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||University Museums and Collections Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
- Macquarie University
- biological sciences
- natural history collections
- academic and public engagement
Estrada-Arevalo, S., Michael, V., & Simpson, A. (2011). Turning the museum indside out: the biological sciences at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. University Museums and Collections Journal, 4, 57-64.