Research Findings

The project methodology draws on a combination of object-based-learning (OBL) and situated learning. Situated learning asserts the importance of collaborative learning in authentic contexts, making it an appropriate model to underpin research on the archive as a space for learning. According to Wenger, learners collaborate or participate in a “community of practice”, a “unique combination of three fundamental elements: a domain of knowledge, which defines a set of issues; a community of people who care about this domain; and the shared practice that they are developing to be effective in their domain”. The project locates the archive and the university as existing domains which through sharing expertise have the potential to form a new “community of practice”. This participatory approach to research will enable us to theorise our own pedagogic practice alongside the experiences of students, using methods that include: personal meaning maps, group techniques, observation, online/paper-based questionnaires.

Research findings will be posted here in various formats throughout the project, culminating in a final report, and papers/articles.


Chatterjee, H.J. & Duhs, R. (2010). “Object Based Learning in Higher Education: Pedagogical Perspectives on Enhancing Student Learning Through Collections.” Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Through Design, University of Brighton, available

Lave, J. and Wenger, E. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Cambridge: CUP, 1991)

Etienne Wenger, et al. Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge (Harvard Business Press, 2002), 27.

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