Lecturers as curators of crossmedia resources: a literature review

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In today’s era of content abundance, a huge amount of resources is available digitally, from research articles to news items and from online courses to YouTube videos. As a result, lecturers in higher education have an endless supply of crossmedia materials that they can present to students as learning materials. This presents lecturers with the challenge of selecting those materials in such a way that they match the course topic and prior knowledge and proficiency level of the students. Additionally, they need to consider how to structure resources and how to make connections between them in order to support students’ learning (Kallenberg, et al., 2009). It is often recognized (e.g. Anderson, 2015; Siemens, 2008) that this task is remarkably similar to the task of curators in museums, who expertly make selections and organize and contextualize artefacts (Bhaskar, 2016). Considering those similarities, surprisingly little is known about how lecturers conduct this task. This study investigates how lecturers in Dutch higher professional education select, structure and present crossmedia resources for educational purposes, from the perspective of curation. This paper aims to provide an overview of relevant research regarding “lecturers as curators” in the context of higher education. It will share the outcomes of a literature review, for which articles were identified in three databases (ERIC, Web of Science (WoS) and Catalogue Plus), using the search word “curation” combined with filters for the field of (higher) education. Only articles published in English in peer reviewed journals, institutional research reports and conference proceedings prior to November 2018 were selected. This led to a selection of 64 articles that focused on curation within higher education. Of these, 17 focused on curation of learning materials done by lecturers. Findings show that there is relatively little research into lecturers’ curational processes. Although most articles identify the notion of curation as a useful approach in teaching, they fail to describe overarching processes or criteria for succesful curation. Five of the reviewed studies describe curational practices by specific groups of lecturers, teaching a specific subject such as maths or music. Seven other studies focus on the outcome of lecturers’ curation processes, describing the curated collections that are the result of it. Additionally, two articles present a conceptual model of educational curation; namely Wolff & Mulholland’s (2013) Curational Inquiry Learning Cycle and Deschaine & Sharma’s (2015) 5C Model. Both models approach the process of curation as a sequential multistep model, in which steps cannot be seen independently: meaning is added with every step of the process. Although they use different terminology, steps such as collecting, selecting, organising, and presenting resources are identified. However, both models have not been tested empirically. The authors acknowledge the importance of this, by stressing that more research into the topic is necessary. The proposed paper will present a complete overview of the findings, summarize the two models, and indicate how these models can be a starting point for further empirical research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Textbooks and Educational Media - Odense, Denmark
Duration: 11 Sept 201913 Sept 2019


ConferenceInternational Conference on Textbooks and Educational Media
Abbreviated titleIARTEM
Internet address


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