Coronavirus information and guidance

University teaching

Using collections for teaching can add new dimensions to your work. We are open to innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches as well as more traditional historical investigation.

The collections are wide-ranging and include artworks, archaeology, scientific instruments, natural history, geology and ethnography, offering a wealth of research and teaching resources.

Many of the objects in the collections are in the process of being digitised for use in online teaching and projects.

Object-based teaching can support different learning styles, offering students active and experiential learning opportunities, stimulating ‘meaning-making’ and longer-term retention of ideas. There are also opportunities to provide student projects that act as part of their learning and assessment.

Recent examples of ways in which the museums and collections have been used in teaching include:

  • lectures and seminars on how to use collections for historical research with the School of History
  • projects investigating how to improve the museum user experience with the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Masters projects creating interactive means of exploring data with the School of Computer Science
  • workshops on creating museum displays with the Department of Social Anthropology
  • creative writing workshops with the School of English.

If you think you could use the collections in your teaching contact, who will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

The Museums of the University of St Andrews and Library Special Collections hold over a million artefacts, manuscripts, rare books, and photographs. Only a fraction of these can ever be on display, and in these unprecedented times with there is only limited access to physical collections for teaching.

Exhibit: Digital Teaching and Storytelling

The Museums and Libraries of the University of St Andrews have developed an innovative new tool which enables anyone to access our digitised objects and to create interactive presentations with digitised material from our collections, including 3D models, 2D objects, manuscripts, rare books, artworks, and photographs.

Exhibit enables anyone to create interactive presentations with digitised material from our (and other) collections. For example, a lecturer could create an Exhibit examining the bindings of a book using a 3D scan, and then move to the inside of the book to view pages and the scanned text. Alternatively, lecturers could provide objects to students and request they create their own Exhibit for a project. 

Exhibit is easy to use, and can be shared or embedded in Moodle, Teams, and WordPress, as well as web pages.  FInd out more about how to use Exhibit on our Collections page.

Developed by University of St Andrews and Mnemoscene using The Universal Viewer, with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. 

AHRC Research Project: Online teaching with digitised museum collection

Covid-19 has led  to a rush by museums and collections to digitise and to create digital content, in parallel with a dramatic shift to online and hybrid teaching and learning by universities.

By capturing case studies and good practice relating to online teaching and learning with digitised collections we hope to offer much-needed support to museums and universities. 

Find out more about the project here.(