Herstory: UCLan Students Create a Virtual Exhibition on History’s Forgotten Women
In this blog we look at how students created a virtual exhibition about history’s forgotten women, the process they used to create it and the results of the project. We also provide some tips and ideas on how you could create your own digital artefact or virtual exhibition. It was launched on International Womens Day.
Silenced by history: Herstory, is a collaborative student-led project by students, from across the School of Humanities Language and Global Studies (HLGS) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan, UK). You can read the full case study here, on which this blog is based.
Students had to identify, gather, co-create and present stories about women from across the Globe who have been silenced throughout history. These women have not been given the same recognition their males counterparts have had in history, and who are generally not included in history books.
“We wanted to address this injustice and to reach out to as many people as possible whilst, at the same time, developing new skills for our students.”Maria D Iglesias Mora, HLGS, UCLan
Demonstrating how straightforward it is to create an online exhibition without a real-world exhibition space, the students used ThingLink to create a digital artefact to increase awareness about these women’s stories.
How the students created their virtual exhibition material
The main stages were:
- Gathering information about their chosen woman/women from across the globe: both in English and in the language of the country of origin. For many of the students it was important for them to give visibility to unheard and underrepresented voices from their own countries, communities, or subject areas.
- Students collaborated via a private MS Teams Chat, and held regular meetings in Microsoft Teams to share and discuss the findings. They used the sessions to explore how to use ThingLink, as well as Canva as a potential tool to manipulate and help edit their designs.
- Using their background material, interactive images were created in ThingLink. The participants themselves designed the images, selected, edited, and presented the information.
The impact of the HerStory virtual exhibition
Herstory has had an overall impact at various levels:
- Raising participants’ confidence and motivation to contribute to future initiatives or to create digital artefacts in ThingLink;
- The stories have potentially inspired others who are going through a challenging time.
“Now the platform has been developed and is live, it is ripe for expansion and the telling of a much wider array of stories…These voices have and will continue contributing to uncover those narratives that have been buried beneath discrimination and injustice in history.”Maria D Iglesias Mora, HLGS, UCLan
Co-creation and cross collaboration
The case study concludes that “The pedagogical benefits of storytelling by using an accessible and user-friendly platform such as ThingLink can be easily extrapolated to other disciplines as it provides formative opportunities to assess students and consolidate their learning. The students who took part in Herstory were encouraged by the need to produce an end-product, i.e., build content for a global audience. This type of project can allow our learners to become co-creators, not just consumers of knowledge, and, therefore, it can be applied to any subject since it creates opportunities for cross collaboration. In addition, I believe projects like this can consolidate understanding in any subject area and can enhance other academic and digital skills.“
With grateful thanks to Maria D Iglesias Mora, Co-course Lead Foundation and Lecturer in Hispanic and Global Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies, University of Central Lancashire, for having allowed us to share this fantastic project. If you would like to get in touch to discuss the project, please contact Maria via email: MDIglesiasMora@uclan.ac.uk
Feeling inspired by the UCLan project?
The same process and approach used by the UCLan students could be used in any discipline to present an interactive, multimedia artefact or exhibition which brings together the collaborative work of a group of students or colleagues.
- Create virtual art exhibitions, displaying images of your art pieces in a virtual art gallery. For sculpture and other objects you could create a 3d gallery, using the 3d model tagging functionality in ThingLink.
- Create a virtual space for any images using this 360 virtual gallery template – created in Canva. Download and edit via this link which also provides a tutorial on how to use to create your own online gallery. You can even turn it into a virtual reality or VR exhibition using ThingLink’s VR mode.
- Use ThingLink as a storytelling tool by creating an interactive timeline of events or developments
- Create an interactive map with ThingLink to place events or individuals in their relevant locations
Read these examples of how educators and exhibitions organizers at real galleries, museums and cultural institutions are using ThingLink to create immersive virtual tours of their spaces which improve access to their cultural heritage artefacts.
- Highland Folk Museum case study
- V&A Dundee case study
- Royal Ontario Museum case study
- Vermont Art Online case study
- Budapest Museums and Galleries case study
Looking for more ways to use ThingLink as a resource for Higher Education? We have summarised three recent independent research papers into the use of ThingLink in HE, including Virtual Labs. Read the summary here.
Educators: Why not join one of our friendly social media communities? ThingLink Education group on Facebook or the ThingLink Community on LinkedIn are a great place to start!