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Teaching Methods in the Virtual Museum

January 21, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Museums are invaluable sites to learn through close encounters with material objects. Physically present, we get a sense of their scale, texture, weight, color, material, making process, and more. However, recent guidelines for remote learning have posed a challenge for the way we might experience objects in the museum. What does it mean to “visit” the museum virtually? And what kinds of online technologies might we now use to learn from objects in new ways?

This workshop will demonstrate hands-on approaches to strategies and tools for virtual object-based pedagogy. In addition to Zoom, we will explore two additional platforms that offer alternative methods for students to experience objects through close-looking and engage in conversation beyond breakout rooms.

This workshop is presented by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum of Art and led by Gary Kafer, Academic Engagement Graduate Intern and PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies. The program is designed for faculty, instructors, and graduate students as well as museum educators. 

PROGRAM IS FULL—NEW SESSION ADDED. This workshop on January 21 is full and registration has closed. Given high demand, we are offering a repeat of the program on January 28 at 12 pm CST. Visit our online calendar for more information and to register. 


This program will include automated live closed captioning via Zoom, however one of the platforms modeled cannot be captioned. To better experience one of the alternative platforms participants are encouraged to bring headphones.


Image: Screenshot of an online teaching platform, showing a detail of Sonja Alhäuser, Flying Feast, 2012, Ink and gouache on wove paper with metal grommets. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Purchase, The Paul and Miriam Kirkley Fund for Acquisitions, 2012.31.