University: University of Alexandria

Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Department: Department of Greek and Roman Archaeology and Studies, Museum Studies Program, MA

Course Description

 

1. Basic Information

Course code:

Course Title: Research Methodology and Writing Skills

Academic Program: Museum Studies Program, MA in Museum Studies

Course Type:          Compulsory                                                    Elective

Hours/week: 3     theoretical:  2      practical:  2

Credit Hours: 3

2.Course Aims

This course aims to:

A better understanding of the issues at stake in museum writing and of the visitor’s uses.

-how to write  Research proposal in Musololgy.

-Role of media for the educational transmission of collections and specially through the use of digital tools, written mediation remains an essential issue for accompanying visitors to the museum and Inside it.

-Texts permit the orientationwithin the museum space and the rooms ;  they also provide an identification and a definition of the exhibited items that the visitor (novice or amateur) often claims, and, finally they permit to explain and comment for those who wish to stay in front of the work ; they can even question the visitor and transform him into an actor of its visit.

 

-How can works of art be enhanced with written texts that enlighten and stimulate the public? This question, at the heart of this course, involves a chain of professionals and of varied skills, from curator and mediator to graphic designer and editor.

-The question is here to study the typology of texts in museums (information cartels,explanatory panels, Internet files), to understand what are their stakes and their utility for very diversified target audiences.

·       -which type of tools have to be selected for the family public, teachers and schoolchildren? How to write and for whom? What is the use of reading in and outside the museum? How to integrate the international provenance of the visitors? What rhetorical, graphic and spatial principles should be taken into account in this exercise? What does digital technology change in the use of the written work in museums.

3.Intended Learning Outcomes

a. Knowledge and Understanding

After the course, students should be able to know:

knowledge of the typology of writing in the museum

- knowledge of reading practices in the museum

- knowledge concerning the rules of legibility of texts and signs in space

- knowledge of the principles of pedagogical writing

- A better understanding of the issues at stake in museum writing and of the visitor’s uses.

b. Intellectual Skills

After the course, students should be aware of:

·       Ability to make a differentiated use of different styles and levels of language (scholarly, pedagogical, academic...)

c. Professional Skills

·       Capacity to introduce within the museographical space various texts with more or less limited resources

d.     General & Transferable skills

After this course, students should be able to:

·       Writing skills

·        Knowledge of graphic principles

4. Course Contents

Topics covered by this course include:

The visitor and reading at the museum: reading practice, language levels, accessibility and layout of the text, graphic chart

2. Principles of writing: systematization, concision, from the near to the far, selection, hierarchization, modalities of the speech, the narrative strategies of the text, legal notice (provenance and inventory)

3.The orientation signage/panel, the question of plurilingualism

4.The cultural signage:

entrance banner to the exhibition, introductory texts, section titles, quotation

5. The tools for understanding: cartography, chronology ...

6. Writing informative labels : simplelabels / elongated labels

7.Writing room panels and room leaflets

8.Writing leaflet of works of art (collections guide) / internet notices

9. Creating a circuit for adult visitors, an exhibition booklet for adults

10.Creating children'sbooklets

11. Multimedia tools and writing documents outside the museum 

5. Teaching and Learning Methods

- Lecturing with active participations

- discussion

- Very interactive pedagogy: writing workshop

- comparative analysis of existing systems

- presentation and class discussion.

6. Teaching and Learning Methods for Students of Limited Capabilities

Activating staff office hours.

Additional revisions of previously taught topics and difficult parts of the course..

Providing a summary of previous course aspects as well as a short introduction to each topic before discussing in class.

7. Students Assessment

a. Assessment methods

Exercice : Writing museum labels – a comparative examination

Writing workshop : creating a Visit Booklet for Children

 Exercise: adapting the discourse to digital

b. Assessment schedule and weight

Assessment

week

% of total mark

Writing museum labels

7

15%

creating a Visit Booklet for Children

 

11

15%

adapting the discourse to digital

14

10%

Final Exam

15

60%

8. List of References

a. Core readings:

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Complete Guide to Adult Audience interpretivematerials : Gallery Texts and Graphics, 2011.

Beverly Serrel, Exhibit Labels, An Interpretative Approach, Walnut Creek, Altamira Oress, 1996.

Cronin, B. &Hert, C.A. 1995 Scholarly Foraging and network discovery tools. -

Journal of Documentation 51: 4: 388-403

Delanty, G. 2001 Challenging knowledge:  The University in the Knowledge society

Open University

Drew, S & Bingham, R. 1996 Student skills. Student Handbook. Aldershot: Gower-

Fairburn, G.J. & winch, C. 1993 Reading, Writing and Reasoning. The Society for -

Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.

 JEANNERET, Y., D. JACOBI et al. (2010). « Written signage and reading practices of the public in a major fine arts museum », Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 25, no 1, p. 53-67.

Louise Ravelli, Museum Texts : communication frameworks, London, Routhledge, 2006.

b. Suggested readings:

 George Hein, Learning in the Museum, London, Routhledge, 1998.

Museums Australia Inc (NSW), Museum Methods, A Practical Manual for Managing Small Museums, Sections 5.1 Developing an exhibition ; 5.4 Exhibition texts; and 5.5 Writing exhibition labels.

c. Periodicals, websites, etc.

https://www.museumsassociation.org/museum-practice/text-and-labels

 

- Marie-Sylvie Poli, « Le textedansl’exposition », La Lettre de l’OCIM [En ligne], 132 | 2010, mis en ligne le 01 novembre 2012, consulté le 18 mars 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ocim/376 ; DOI : 10.4000/ocim.376

9. Course Matrix for Achievement of Intended Learning Outcomes

Topic

week

Knowledge & Understanding

Intellectual Skills

Professional Skills

General & Transferable Skills

The visitor and reading at the museum

1

a

b

 

 

Principles of writing

Productive searching of information from libraries, archives and electronic databases

2

 

b

 

d

Facility in a range of industry standard software (text, image processing, spreadsheets, databases and statistical software) for data management, analysis, illustration and interpretation

 

3

 

 

c

 

The orientation signage/panel

4

 

 

c

d

The question of plurilingualism

5

 

 

c

d

The tools for understanding

6

 

 

c

 

Writing informative labels

7

a

b

 

d

Writing room panels and room leaflets

8

a

b

 

d

Writing leaflet of works of art

9

a

b

 

d

Creating a circuit for adult visitors, an exhibition booklet

10

a

b

c

d

Creating children'sbooklets

11

a

b

c

d

Creating children'sbooklets

12

a

b

c

d

Multimedia tools and writing documents outside the museum 

13

 

b

c

d

Multimedia tools and writing documents outside the museum 

14

 

b

c

d

Final Exam

15