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UNISA Window: A Strategic Project of CHS

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Mariette Harcombe

on 13 June 2014

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Transcript of UNISA Window: A Strategic Project of CHS

The UNISA Window: A Strategic Project of CHS
What educational role will the Window play?
Project Background
1 January 2012 - 31 December 2014
The UNISA Window was approved as a Strategic Project by College Management and the SPCC in November 2011.
The project belongs to the College of Human Sciences, but represents all of the Academic Department as Stakeholders
Other strategic partners include: The library, Corporate Communications and Marketing, The Art Gallery, UNISA Radio and ICT
The UNISA
Window
The venue will take the shape of an
inter-active, multi-disciplinary exhibition
venue, specifically aimed at showcasing the interrelated nature of the Humanities
The aim of the project is to break the trends of parochialism by challenging traditional views
and promoting lateral or

Out of the Box
thinking,
especially in terms of how
we promote the
Humanities and market
the College of Human
Sciences
Our presence:
The UNISA Window exhibition venue will be located on the 5th floor, Theo van Wijk
physical and virtual
The aim is to have as strong a virtual presence as a physical one, with the virtual exhibition complimenting, rather than copying the permanent, physical exhibition.
Our digitization of museum collections will play an essential role in making study collections available to ODL students,
adding to the blended learning experience
How do we encourage students to think on an
inter-disciplinary
level about their subjects?
what are the different approaches to objects-based learning and interaction?
It came to light that students are not aware of, nor do they fully utilize, the resources UNISA has on offer
Strategic partnerships have to be formed with both the
library...
and UNISA
Radio
in order to reach the widest possible
student base
It came to light that the humanities, in general, has somewhat of a low standing in the public eye and that it is often perceived as less important than other sciences
The Window must therefore highlight the importance of the humanities and the contributions made to society
These contributions include the lateral and holistic development of thinking and research skills of the students
These contribution do not always come across clearly, as members of the public are often unsure or uninformed about the nature and content of disciplines within the humanities
The
UNISA WINDOW
has the
potential to provide greater clarity on the nature, extent and subject content of disciplines within the humanities
before
prospective students enroll
This will help students to select courses and modules in which they are truly interested
"What is the role of university museums
and exhibition venues?"
UNISA as a distance learning institute caters for a
specific niche market and plays a different role to that of residential universities and their museums/exhibition venues
Should UNISA still offer objects-based learning and if so, how?
Should we not strive towards international trends in terms of
interactive spaces
instead of following
the traditional recipe?
Old dusty cabinets
where you're not
allowed to touch
any of the objects
Paragraph upon paragraph
of text you have no interest in reading
VS
Something
innovative
and
Inter
ACTIVE
tHaT iS nON-LiNeaR
which showcases the various departments and their post-graduate research, in order to highlight the various possibilities within a chosen discipline to undergraduates of prospective students
We need a venue and an
exhibition that can evoke discussions
on standards and norms and facilitate
active debate on various topics
Only when we start talking about
the human sciences will we begin to
popularize them
Only when we begin to highlight
their real world applications
will people start to appreciate the
human sciences
Memorial lectures
Easy!
We exhibit what they've done thus far and what the possibilities
are for the future
Post-grad

student exhibitions
Student colloquiums
Temporary departmental
exhibitions
Poster
Presentations
But how do we get people
talking???
We ask them to
showcase their work!
we do this via:
A strategic partnership with
UNISA Radio will allow us to
broadcast features and interviews
of student exhibitions, projects and research
Exhibition spaces in the E-Environment
How can we give the UNISA Window as
strong a
Virtual
presence as a
physical
one
How will we involve our students to ensure their participation?
Which tools are available and how will we employ them?
The Window
should have a strong social
media presence
We can use various platforms to keep students informed
on what is envisaged
thereby allowing them to
participate in the planning
process
But why?
Because the time has come for
exhibition design to change its strategy.
Why should an exhibition be designed for a specific target market, without involving members of the target market
Our exhibitions have to include content compiled by our staff and students. We can incorporate content from Honours research projects, Masters Dissertations,
PhD Theses,
staff research, etc...
Gamification
The
of curriculum
content
the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users in solving problems
Collecting virtual/digital
Badges
via the online
exhibition to "unlock" special
content at the physical exhibition
We must boldly go where no other exhibition has gone before!
Blogging
can be
used to provide more detailed information
#Hashtags
can be used to create
and follow trends
Students that are
unable to physically interact with the exhibition
can upload their
presentations to the virtual exhibition
visitors can then view these presentations at one of the multi-media stations at the venue
Ideas for the PERMANENT exhibition
Proverbs
We need a
CENTRAL THEME
that can link the different disciplines within the Humanities.
Under the linking theme 'PROVERBS' we include proverbs, sayings and idioms from different cultures and languages
Proverbs express certain truths based on common sense or the practical experience of
humanity

Each proverb will be linked to a specific subject or theme within the various disciplines. This is how we will link our UNISA curriculum with the exhibition
By allowing visitors to think on this "metaphorical" level, evoking them to identify points of comparison between different subjects... we actively engage their minds to start the process of lateral thinking
And when you start thinking laterally
you start to connect the dots
and as soon as you're able to connect the dots, you'll be able to understand the multi, inter and trans-disciplinary nature of the Human Sciences
You have now made it much simpler for your audience to see the relationship between subjects like sociology, anthropology, classics and African Languages
Although our audience may be able to connect the dots, we don't want them to connect the dots in a linear fashion
A
B
C
D
E
F
picture - text - picture - text - picture - text
We want them to connect the dots in which ever way they see fit
A
B
C
D
E
A
B
C
D
E
Examples:
The animal kingdom
Time
We have to capture the attention of our audience with something
FUN
and
sneak in

Educational
Content

without them even realizing
it
"Whoo-hoooo!"
"I'm having
FUN!"
...and in the
process
we showcase
the
College of
Human Sciences
or even worse...
random objects or images without any explanation or context
"Hello, I'm a pot. I don't know why I'm here"
Reading & viewing = thinking
Students have minds of their own
We must encourage lateral or out of the box thinking
Our audience cannot be expected to think creatively, if they are "trapped" within a linear exhibition
and we have to evoke CRITICAL thinking
We must start disseminating knowledge as
dialogic,
rather than simply
informational,
along non-linear phases
along a
dialogue
discussion
opinion
ideas
Object
Image
info
predictable, linear plane
reflection...
"was I supposed
to learn something here?"
objects with stories
info
images
with
stories
Blended Learning
Going inter-active and electronic is a huge trend within
Open Distance Learning
As 2014 marks the 100-year commemoration of World War I, this will be our main theme

Our goals:
Creating an institutional museum
Enriching the Blended Learning experience within ODL
Advancing UNISA's
brand reputation and social impact


Solomon Plaatjie as MIT mascot
Creative design ideas from Chillibush
World War I Exhibition
MIT
or Multi, Inter and Trans Disciplinarity is a buzz word at UNISA, but what does it really mean?
We have to start thinking out of the box
and the UNISA Window project is the perfect opportunity to do so
Full transcript