Museum of Art Exchange

Dynamic Teaching and Learning:  The Exchange at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

As the cultural heart of a world-class public research university, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) serves as the gateway to the arts on campus. A place where compelling encounters with art shape the University experience, UMMA endeavors to ignite creativity and forge connections across diverse disciplines, geographies, and cultures. UMMA is recognized as a resource for the University community as a “university academic unit”—underscoring UMMA’s essential role in U-M’s teaching and research mission and denoting a responsibility to serve the breadth of the University.

Faculty and student involvement at UMMA is robust—in FY2014 UMMA served 37% of U-M schools and programs and 34% of the departments of U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Art along with 5,000 students through teaching and learning programs in the Museum’s study rooms and galleries.  UMMA staff works with faculty in areas ranging from children’s literature to Judaic studies to provide the information and support they desire, including the development of online customized image portfolios that address subject matter and approach. These planning and learning tools help faculty to master information so that they can bring rich conversations about art objects into their curricula. The portfolios are then sent to other faculty with similar areas of specialty along with information about UMMA’s collections and special exhibitions through tailored electronic newsletters.

This project seeks to extend and deepen these connections through the development and facilitation of the Exchange—an interactive, digital platform for Museum-based teaching and learning, both co-curricular and in the classroom. The project will increase engaged, action-based learning experiences for U-M students by integrating the Museum’s collections and exhibitions into more courses and research projects, and increasing their use in teaching. The project will also help to expand and extend the reach of the Exchange, providing a visible impact on the broader landscape of American higher education. The Exchange has the potential to not only transform UMMA’s teaching and learning practice on campus, it will provide a new model of collaboration among universities, museums, and audiences.

Project team

Joseph Rosa, University of Michigan Museum of Art

Ruth Slavin, University of Michigan Museum of Art

John Turner, University of Michigan Museum of Art

David Choberka, University of Michigan Museum of Art