Title:A Museum-University Partnership to Develop Web-Based Educational Resources
Authors:William Howze, Ann Jenkins, Bernard Robin, Kathleen O'Connor
Publication:MW2001: Museums and the Web 2001

An NEA grant that sought "innovative uses of new technology that enhance public access to the arts" seemed tailor made to overcome the challenges faced by a collection of decorative arts exhibited in a historic house. At Bayou Bend, access is limited to groups of no more than six visitors, accompanied by a trained docent, and scheduled 15 minutes apart. A Web site offered the possibility to reach a much wider and more diverse audience, with the potential to develop features specifically for students and teachers. NEA reviewers agreed and funded the proposal, but at a fraction of the amount requested. A fortuitous meeting with faculty from the University of Houston College of Education Instructional Technology Program led to a collaboration that has not only made up for the lost funding, but has also given graduate students valuable hands-on experience. This paper addresses lessons learned from the project that will be used not only to improve the Bayou Bend site but also to guide the development of future museum-university collaborations.Keywords: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, University of Houston, Decorative Arts, Web Site, NEA, Partnership, Course, Students, Bayou Bend