Research at HCLE


A museum is not only a place for visitors to have a good time, it is a resource for scholars. HCLE fulfills this charter in several ways. It...
  • preserves the past
  • makes its collections accessible for research
  • is a venue for research on visitor interaction with its exhibits and archive
  • generates new tools for learning via the internet
  • participates in the intersection among museum practitioners, educators, and learning researchers
  • for more on museum definition, please visit the Online Museum Working Group

At present (May, 2014) HCLE has two research initiatives:
  • Online museum-community database system. This is a platform that integrates
    • collections management
    • constituency relationship management
    • (web) content management
Most existing database systems and museum management software optimize one of these functions but handle the others awkwardly. HCLE is striving to implement a searchable "Catalog" that lets patrons easily search for information about both people and items in the collection and then find related images, web sites and references.

This project will use historical versions of the popular simulation, Oregon Trail, to investigate the impact of differing presentations of content on the learning outcome of users. Oregon Trail was originally available on mainframe computers in the early 1970s. At that time the user interface consisted of a teletype machine - input via upper-case-only keyboard with output on paper. Today the program lives on as The Learning Company's Oregon Trail and Zynga's Pioneerville.

In addition to in-house research at HCLE we hope researchers at other institutions will share their project plans, progress and results here so that their efforts can be more widely appreciated.

More about HCLE Database Development

The links below jump you to wiki pages being used for communication by our development teams. Our hope is that what are now messy notes scribbled during the process of figuring out how to build a robust virtual museum will eventually be edited together into a useful guide to other practitioners.
  • the HCLE collections catalog
  • strategies for web site content management
  • constituency relationship management: connecting people with collections and events

Now (2014) the concept "database" is in rapid flux. The boundaries between terms range from "fuzzy" and "totally undefined" making it especially difficult for the layman to describe either the problem or a satisfactory solution. To view, and possibly participate in, our struggle, please visit our Team pages: Database Team, Data Entry, Metadata, Constituency Relations

More about the HCLE Comparative Game Platform

Links with other researchers

Here are some links to educational technology researchers working in English around the globe: