• Class Number 4763
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Prof Laurajane Smith
    • Dr Adele Chynoweth
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

Through an overview of the educational and learning contexts of a wide range of Australian and international museums and heritage sites, students will be guided into developing analytical, synthetic and evaluative skills that allow them to observe, assess, design and implement educational exhibitions/programs in museum and heritage settings. Students will also be guided into experiential investigations of local or virtual museum/heritage settings, and contact with professionals in those settings and to examine learning theories, critical pedagogy, audiences, curricula and policies, practices of learning and evaluations of learning in museums and heritage sites. The course will also enable students to consider cases of public contestation which position heritage professionals and museums into the role of learner.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. describe the scope and characteristics of the different types of learning that occurs in museums and heritage sites (on-site and virtually), including early childhood and school learning, adult learning, lifelong learning, family learning, and community learning, and give examples of exemplary exhibitions/programs;
  2. evaluate theories of learning relevant to museum and heritage sites and be able to situate those theories within the context of public and school exhibitions/programs;
  3. demonstrate the conceptual and analytical skills to engage a variety of audiences in appropriate learning in the museum/heritage context by planning and implementing cost-effective learning/interpretive exhibitions/programs, including with relation to school curricula, open-air sites, indigenous communities, and/or using relevant technologies where appropriate; and 
  4. identify and analyse the role of heritage professionals and museums as learners.

Research-Led Teaching

Course content is informed by theoretical analysis and interdisciplinary research. This course requires research-led practice. This means that students are required to research and then apply learning theories in discussion and assessment pieces. 

Field Trips

Excursions are required for much of the assessment. These are determined by each student according to their interests and their location. These field trips are essential to becoming familiar with your local, regional, state and national museums and with the practicalities of learning. 

Additional Course Costs

Students are required to have access to broadband, as this course is online and requires online research and virtual excursions.

Some museums and heritage sites charge an entrance fee.

Examination Material or equipment

Not Applicable 

Required Resources

Commonwealth supported students and domestic full-fee paying students generally must be able to complete the requirements of their program of study without the imposition of fees that are additional to the student contribution amount or tuition fees.

Provided that its payment is in accordance with the Act, a fee is of a kind that is into any one or more of the following categories:

  1. It is a charge for a good or service that is not essential to the course of study.
  2. It is a charge for an alternative form, or alternative forms, of access to a good or service that is an essential component of the course of study but is otherwise made readily available at no additional fee by the higher education provider.
  3. It is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than the higher education provider and is for:
  4. equipment or items which become the physical property of the student and are not consumed during the course of study; or
  5. food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips that form part of the course of study.
  6. It is a fine or a penalty provided it is imposed principally as a disincentive and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs.

Indicative Reading List

  • Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. Museums and education: purpose, pedagogy, performance. Oxon & New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • Simon, Nina. The Participatory Museum. Santa Cruz: Museum 2.0, 2010.
  • Hein, George. Learning in the Museum. Oxfon & New York: Routledge, 2005.
  • Falk, John and Lynn Dierking. The Museum Experience. Washington: Whaleback, 1992.
  • Falk, John. Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience. California: Left Coast Press, 2009.

Most large cultural institutions have social media pages devoted to museum learning, for example Museums Australia Education have a wonderful Facebook page that regularly posts interesting links. Hunt around for more and let others know on Wattle.

All other learning resources for this course are provided on the Wattle site either as portable document format (pdf) files, as links to e-resources in the ANU library, or as URL links to websites. 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Wattle discussion boards
  • Written comments on assignments
  • Via email (if necessary)

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Referencing requirements

The preferred referencing system is Chicago. See http://www.anu.edu.au/students/learningdevelopment/academic-integrity/referencing/chicago-manual-of-style

Other relevant information:

ANU Library resources

The ANU Library offers online access to many publications relevant to Museums and Collections, including the major journals Museum and Society, Recollections, Museum Management and Curatorship, Open Museum Journal, Museum International and Curator. There are many websites offered by relevant institutions and industry organisations, such as:

For an up-to-date digest of museum news, and other relevant links, see http://www.globalmuseum.org/ and http://www.museumstuff.com. For museum web sites around the world, see Virtual Library Museums Pages: a distributed directory of on-line museums at http://icom.museum/vlmp/

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Theories of learning in museums and heritage sites
2 Museums and school programmes
3 Learning and heritage
4 Life-long learning
5 When the museum goes to the theatre
6 Audiences and silent pedagogy
7 The role of empathy
8 Teaching for human rights
9 Community learning
10 Evaluation of museum programmes
11 Digital technology
12 Oral presentations This is an activity for in-class students but the recording will be available via Wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online introduction and discussion regarding two site visits: heritage and alternative cultural site 10 % 12/04/2019 19/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Written feedback/response to a museum or heritage site 15 % 31/05/2019 19/06/2019 4
Analysis of education programme 25 % 03/06/2019 19/06/2019 1, 2, 3
Learning activity plan 50 % 10/06/2019 19/06/2019 1, 2, 3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to participate in the online discussion forum. This is an important avenue of student learning, allowing course participants to test out ideas, and to ask questions, just as in a weekly tutorial. When students are required as part of assessment to give feedback on the ideas of other students, it is advisable to provide at least one item of positive feedback, and one critique. Please be respectful when commenting on the work of fellow students. 



Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Online introduction and discussion regarding two site visits: heritage and alternative cultural site

Online students are required to introduce themselves to each other via the online discussion forum via Wattle and then provide written input comprising their analysis of their experiences at the following two site sites. Students are encouraged to give feedback/responses to their online peers.

Site visit 1: heritage tour

Students are required to participate in a guided tour of a heritage site of their choice. The guided tour may be conducted in person by a tour guide or may be in the form of digital technology- a specific targeted app, for example. Students are required to analyse this in terms of learning and identify which education theory/ies best support the description/explanation of the educational experience.

Site visit 2: alternative cultural site

Students are required to visit a leisure site/cultural activity that is not related to a museum, gallery, library or heritage site. Students are required to analyse this experience in terms of audiences/visitors and with an understanding of silent pedagogy. The readings under the heading of ‘Audiences’ in the course reading list will be relevant here. These references apply to museums and so students will be required to apply the principles in these references to this alternative culture site/public leisure activity of their choice. In-class students will be attending a race meeting. Online students may choose to do the same in their own time and near your own place of residence if that suits you or you may wish to choose another site. Students are advised to liaise with the course convenor regarding their choice of site in order to ensure that it meets the aims of this component of the course.

Word limit: 500 words

Value: 10%

Presentation requirements: online discussion forum on Wattle site

Estimated return date: 19 June 2019


CriteriaHD [80-100]D [70-79]CR [60-69]P [50-59]N [0-49]

Length of overall submission (excluding references)

Description of tour/event/learning experience 

Critical reflection/ consideration of issues relevant to the described events.

Reference to theory or authors’ work.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4

Written feedback/response to a museum or heritage site

Students, individually, are to prepare a written response to an aspect of a museum or heritage site that is an area of concern. It could be that an important aspect of history is absent/invisible or it could be that something that is on display is not represented appropriately or perhaps should not be shown at all. It could relate to your perception that a museum or heritage site has failed in its social responsibility. Students should target their presentation to museum/heritage site management. This assessment task is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding that museum professionals are not always experts and that sometimes they need to learn. It is also an opportunity for you to create a learning experience for a museum/heritage site manager. 

Word limit: 500 words

Value: 10%

Presentation requirements: Turnitin on Wattle site

Estimated return date: 19 June 2019


CriteriaHD [80-100]D [70-79]CR [60-69]P [50-59]N [0-49]

Length of overall submission 

Description of issue 

Critical reflection/ consideration of issues.

Reference to theory or authors’ work.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 03/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Analysis of education programme

Write a critical evaluation of a learning activity that you have observed. Organise your own visit to a museum or heritage site and observe a learning activity. It can be targeted at adults or children.

The aim of the task is to apply your understanding of relevant topics in this course to your choice of learning activity. Your analysis should be research-driven and informed by relevant theories including theory. You may also wish to source any support materials produced by the organisation that runs the activity in order to inform your discussion.

Assessment Rubrics

These criteria evaluate the skills most valuable for academic writing—effective, persuasive writing; independent research; and the demonstrated ability to engage in independent and critical thinking. A High Distinction will generally require work that is marked ‘excellent’ in most sections in this category.

Word limit: 2,000 words

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: via Turnitin on Wattle site

Estimated return date: 19 June 2019


CriteriaHD [80-100]D [70-79]CR [60-69]P [50-59]N [0-49]

Description of learning experience

Discussion of visitor/learner engagement

Evidence of critical analysis, including reference to theory and evidence of research

Written skills: structure, ease of flow, good expression, spelling, grammar, punctuation

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 10/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Learning activity plan

You are asked to develop an extensive plan for a learning activity at a museum or heritage site. The learning activity may be planned to occur within a school-based program, as an interpretive activity at a heritage site, as a public program (stand-alone or attached to a permanent or temporary exhibition), or as a web-based activity, and may be in the appropriate format (printed, web-based, face-to-face, podcast, video etc). The plan should provide a rationale, scope, target audience(s), staffing requirements, resource requirements, approximate costs, lifespan etc. You should also provide a mock-up or description of a pilot, as appropriate. The expectation would be for a plan of 3000 words or an equivalent in other formats. 

Assessment Rubrics

These criteria evaluate the skills most valuable for designing a learning program. It will be based on sound pedagogic theory, independent research and the demonstrate ability to engage in independent and critical thinking. 

Word limit: 3000 words

Value: 50%

Presentation requirements: via Turnitin on Wattle site

Estimated return date: 19 June 2019


CriteriaHD [80-100]D [70-79]CR [60-69]P [50-59]N [0-49]

Overall rationale, scope of project – comprehensive and clearly stated

Evidence of independent and research-led critical thinking

Demonstrates understanding of target and suitability of audience(s), social responsibility.

Feasibility: costs, lifespan of project.

Mock-up or description of a pilot

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Work will be returned to students with electronic feedback via Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

In cases determined by the course convenor, students may resubmit some or all assignments. 

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Laurajane Smith
6125 8162

Research Interests

Curatorial and Related Studies, Museum Studies, Access to Justice, Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Social Change

Prof Laurajane Smith

Friday 12:00 13:00
Dr Adele Chynoweth
6125 9498

Research Interests

Dr Adele Chynoweth

Friday 12:00 13:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions