Seminar – Co-creating technologies to structure interpretation with museum and gallery collections (Tim Coughlan)

Video of Seminar (07/01/2016)

Slides available here.

Speaker: Dr Tim Coughlan, IET


This presentation will introduce two collaborative design research projects that focused on using technology to support active interpretation and learning with artefacts in museum collections. The Embodied Assessment project focused on designing mobile tools for user-generated media creation in museum settings. The aim was to support procedures corresponding to a professional vision to be followed by formal and informal learners. Ultimately, this could also result in outcomes that could be assessed to validate learning in situ. The ArtMaps project explored how the public can engage with the Tate collection by representing relationships between artworks and locations. It focused on how technically-simple linking activities could highlight the many complex meanings and stories that artworks evoke. Both projects aimed to guide (but not impose) interpretations through technological lenses, and to create engaging experiences that could also generate valuable outcomes. As collaborative projects, they also bring to the surface a variety of goals, such as the desire to support ‘open authority’ in museums and galleries, and to support effective formal instruction in informal settings.

Related references:

  • Munoz, A., Brown, M., Coughlan, T., Ainsworth, S. & Lorenz, K., (2016) Using mobile media creation to structure museum interpretation with professional vision. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing (in press).
  • Coughlan, T., Carletti, L., Giannachi, G., Benford, S., McAuley, D., Price, D., Locatelli, C., Sinker, R., & Stack, J. (2015). ArtMaps: interpreting the spatial footprints of artworks. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). ACM Press. 407-416

Speaker bio:

Tim Coughlan is a Lecturer in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. His research interests sit at the crossroads of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Educational Technology. He is particularly focused on the design and evaluation of novel systems that support creativity and openness in learning. He is an Accessibility Specialist for IET, and also an Open Media Fellow. The OU has a mission to widen participation and success in education, and through these roles his work involves understanding how we can offer the most effective learning opportunities to the most people.

Previously he was a Horizon Research Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham, working on projects including ArtMaps, Understanding the Multiscreen Household, and Stories of User Appropriation. Before that, he was a researcher in IET on the Open Learning: Bridge to SuccessDigital Scholarship  and Out There and In Here projects. He completed his PhD research in Computer Science at the University of Bath, studying how computers can be designed to support creative interaction.