Curating student learning in a virtual gallery
Keywords:virtual galleries, object-based learning, digital literacy
The development of digital and creative literacies in biology is ongoing and recent technological advances have reduced the entry barrier for students and staff to engage in the creation of digital artefacts. We have developed a platform based on the Unity game engine that allows students to create virtual galleries in which they can curate 3D exhibitions of their learning which can be viewed on either a flat screen or a virtual reality headset. As part of the instructional activities, students are introduced to Object-Based Learning pedagogy by museum curators.
THE VIRTUAL GALLERY
Following a series of workshops to learn the basics of Unity, 500 first-year human biology students (in groups of 5) used templates to create their own virtual galleries, populating them with objects from all aspects of their studies from lectures to practicals and masterclasses. These galleries demonstrated the students’ mastery of the basics of working in and navigating virtual environments. This represents a unique way to collaboratively curate evidence of their learning across the semester and to communicate that understanding to a general audience. This is a new and novel approach to developing digital literacies and a portfolio of achievement in undergraduate science students.