Enriching Museum Student Users’ Curriculum Interpretation, Le ...

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In the twenty-first century, digital archives provide critical extension value and relevant information resources that enrich users’ cultural knowledge and connection through object analysis. This study explores the potential of HistoryPin, a free online application for cultural storytelling, to support curriculum interpretation, encourage students’ learning engagement, and enrich their worldwide view of global cultural objects. A collaboration between a University Museum and a Historic Textiles course of an extensive fashion program based in the Midwest United States in Spring 2022, this case study identified cultural objects/artifacts, including textiles, costumes, and related accessories, to illustrate and support course topics. Global cultural objects were curated, digitized, and presented with images of different views, cultural and historical information, and linked data through the virtual tour setting of HistoryPin. Students from both online and in-person sections experienced a virtual exhibition of artifacts, reinforcing and extending class content for further interpretation and engagement. Advanced interactive technologies, such as comments, favorites, and thought/image sharing on social media, from HistoryPin allowed students to reflect on various perspectives according to cultural objects. After each course section, researchers gathered student users’ interactive comments shared on HistoryPin. A content analysis approach explored five emergent learning impacts from the virtual cultural objects, consolidated the findings from previous scholars, and indicated the substantial learning experience for a hybrid course setting. Moreover, an after-course reflection assignment provided sub-analyses on the cultural-based digital archive approach through HistoryPin to assess the experiences from navigation, browsing, learning, and engagement in the student users’ virtual museum experience.