Using objects to stimulate learning

In this section, Dr David Smith from Bioscience shares and discusses the outputs from his LEAD Associate project on Object-Based Learning (OBL). OBL is a student-centred learning approach that uses objects to facilitate deep learning. Objects may take many forms, small or large, but the method typically involves students handling or working at close quarters with physical artefacts. This resource is made up of a number of useful resources produced for this toolkit.

What is Object-Based Learning?

Practical guidance

icon showing a cup of coffeeGrab a coffee…

With a colleague, discuss what objects would we use to stimulate student interest in each of the topics you teach them. Think about the role the object would play. For example, would you use the object to represent a related problem? Show how something works? Is there something that the object stands for metaphorically?

For each object and topic, what exactly would you ask them to consider?

Publications from the project

Smith DP. Active learning in the lecture theatre using 3D printed objects [version 2; referees: 2 approved]. F1000Research 2016, 5:61 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.7632.2)

Bibliography

David identified this literature during the project. Please suggest further literature relevant to this resource.

Video – Introduction to Object Based Learning – detailing its use in Museums and Collections.
Video – Faculty Roundtable 1: Interdisciplinary Object-Based Learning

Case study – Wow: The power of objects in object-based learning and teaching
Case study – Teaching with Objects and Photographs Supporting and Enhancing Your Curriculum
Case study – Use of 3D printed objects in large group teaching

Book Chapter – Chatterjee, H. and Duhs, R. (2010) Object-based learning (OBL) in higher education (HE): pedagogical perspectives on enhancing student learning through collections. London: UCL, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD).

References

Chatterjee H.J,. & Hannan, L. (2015). Engaging the senses: Object-based learning in higher education. Routledge.

Chatterjee, H. & Duhs, R. (2010). Object-based learning (OBL) in higher education: pedagogical perspectives on enhancing student learning through collections. London: UCL, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design.

Dori, Y.J, & Barak, M. (2001). Virtual and physical molecular modeling: fostering model perception and spatial understanding. Educational Technol Soc. 2001; 4(1): 61–74.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M.P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics (psychological and cognitive sciences). Report. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, 111(23), p. 8410.

Hannan L, Chatterjee H, Duhs R (2013). Object Based Learning: a powerful pedagogy for higher education. In: Boddington, A., Boys, J. & Speight, C. “Museums and higher education working together: challenges and opportunities.” Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, pp. 159–168.

Hardie K Innovative pedagogies series: Wow: The power of objects in object-based learning and teaching High Education Academy  Online at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/kirsten_hardie_final.pdf

James, A.R. (2013). Lego Serious Play: a three-dimensional approach to learning development. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 6.

Romanek D. & Lynch B. (2008). Touch and the value of object handling: final conclusions for a new sensory museology. In: Chatterjee, H.J. “Touch in Museums: Policy and Practice in Object Handling. Oxford and New York: Berg.

Schönborn, K.J., Anderson, T.R. (2006). The importance of visual literacy in the education of biochemists. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Education, 34(2), 94–102.

This page is a product of Dr David Smith’s LEAD Associate project on Object-Based Learning 2016-17