Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


Camera Lucida: AMICO in an Art History Classroom

Colleen Skidmore , University of Alberta, Canada
Sandra Dowie , University of Alberta, Canada

Session: Academic Users of Museum Web Sites

No longer 'art-in-the-dark' survey courses, traditional undergraduate art history classes are being transformed into interactive, challenging learning environments at the University of Alberta. As part of our involvement in the AMICO Testbed Project in 1998-99, we have developed a Web-based presentation tool that allows students and instructors to devise side-by-side display, for the purpose of comparison and contrast, of an abridged set of AMICO images relevant to the study of the history of art in Canada. Accessed through a secured course Web site, students explore the high-quality digital images with a partner at in-class workstations as well as independently at remote locations. Replacing slide reproductions with the course Web site and full AMICO catalogue has created an active learning environment that motivates students to visit on-line library databases and thereby enhances their acquisition of basic knowledge and research skills. In our presentation, we will demonstrate a course Web site as well as discuss our aims, design strategies, teaching methods, and early results of our AMICO project.