April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Sessions: Abstract

The Living Museum: Supporting the Creation of Quality User-Generated Content   go to paper

Allison Farber, Museum of Jewish Heritage, USA
Paul Radensky, Museum of Jewish Heritage--A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, USA

The Living Museum® is an on-line application and curriculum that enables students and teachers in Jewish schools to create virtual exhibitions of artifacts that represent their individual and collective Jewish heritage. Our site went live a year ago, and now that we have posted on-line exhibitions from a number of schools, several challenges have emerged with the quality of our user-generated content. For example, how do we support students to write thorough and thoughtful artifacts descriptions? What sort of mechanisms will both encourage and enable teachers to review and edit student submissions? How do we ensure that students and teachers submit quality photographs that meet the high standards visitors expect from on-line museums? How do we manage staff resources invested in reviewing and editing user submitted content?

Our initial questions raised new questions: How rigorous should the Museum’s review process be? What standards should we maintain? How do we communicate these standards? What do we do when we receive an exhibition that does not live up to our educational standards?

This paper presents the Living Museum’s on-line protocols and the instructional module we built to support the creation of quality exhibitions. We discuss how demonstrating high expectations, sharing our educational goals and providing technical and curricular resources facilitate the creation of quality user-generated content and can be used as a model for others when creating Web sites that host user-generated content.

Session: User-Generated Content [Social Media]

Keywords: education, children, quality, artifact, heritage, user-generated content, on-line exhibitions