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Faculty Recipient of CT State OER Grant Publishes Asian Art & Architecture Image Database

In April 2021 Chu-Niblack Assistant Professor of Art History and Architectural Studies Di Luo was awarded a State of Connecticut Open Educational Resources (OER) Impact Grant for her proposal to publish a publicly-accessible image database in collaboration with her students across several courses in Asian art. Upon its launch in December 2021, Asian Art & Architecture: An Open Educational Resource contained more than 300 posts authored by 59 students, including labels and descriptions of 272 individual images, 52 themed exhibitions, and 32 literature reviews. The website covers a wide range of topics and cultures, including ancient ceramics and bronzes in India, traditional Buddhist statuary in Pakistan, Nepal, and Tibet, Chinese landscape paintings, 19th- and 20th-century Japanese woodblock prints, contemporary architecture, urban design, gardens, glassware, photography, and art installations in and beyond Asia.

Luo identifies several objectives underpinning the project: to utilize open pedagogy practices to engage students meaningfully in the process of knowledge creation, to highlight the collections of Asian art and artifacts at Connecticut College and the adjacent Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and to provide free, academic-quality learning materials for Asian art and architecture to college students, educators, and any interested individuals. To that end, the website offers advice for adoption of the OER, such as adapting any virtual exhibition as a 75-minute lecture on Asian art and architecture with assigned readings listed in the bibliography at the end of the exhibition post, or incorporating individual images and related content into lesson plans and course materials. 

In Phase 2 of the project’s development, Luo incorporated the project this spring into her course on the Silk Road. Students worked to develop ArcGIS Story Maps, which will enhance the existing content of the OER. Thanks to digital scholarship’s iterative nature, the OER project offers endless opportunities to expand content in future courses. Published under a Creative Commons 4.0 license that allows adaptive reuse with attribution, all users at Conn and beyond are also free to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose.

Example image post showing metadata and description contributed by Sofia Di Scipio ’24