The videos were made for the new Museums in Context course, an MA elective for Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship (CEE), Arts, Culture and Society (ACS), and Place, Culture and Tourism (PTC). In this new MA course, students get to apply theories learnt from their MA programs into a real museum case. The videos presented CEE concepts and theories in a simple and concise manner (in less than 10 minutes). There are further two interviews (Prof. Arjo Klamer and Prof. Hans Abbing), where senior researchers presented their latest book and applied the main concepts to the topic of museums, facilitating understanding and applicability of their theories proposed. Each week, one or two videos were assigned to prepare students for class discussion, focusing numerous readings and theoretic concepts around a specific topic per week, which provided an advanced starting point for discussion. The course is based mostly on CEE literature but invariably other perspectives come on board, including sociology and heritage studies. Students worked in interdisciplinary teams and were given a 'wicked problem' to solve. Their solutions were presented at the end of the course to the participating museum institutions.
These videos were made to stimulate critical thinking and engage students in a focused theoretic discussion around museums.The videos were highly successful in two ways. First, students saw clear applications of theories into a museum case, strengthening their use of theories into 'real life' problems, closing the gap between academic work and daily life while preparing students to utilize their academic training into the work force. This was the main goal of the course. Second, the videos present issues in museums using many visual and practical references which inspire further thinking, beyond the assignment of the week, including several theoretic sources, all listed at the end of the videos. The videos hence can serve multiple purposes and multiple users.
The video series are available on YouTube for our students.
First reactions of students
"The videos were very helpful for beginners" (MA PCT)"
"Finally, the theory we have learnt makes sense, the practical side of the course allowed me to see how it all fits together" (MA CEE)"
The videos took 1 year to develop and included comments by several colleagues and experts. The use of media was rather unique, as it incorporated museum content from across the globe (i.e. collections, videos, social media) to illustrate the various elements discussed. So, do plan ahead and take sufficient time for revision and testing.