National Museum launches online education initiative

Thursday, 29 October, 2020

The National Museum of Australia (NMA) launched their Australia’s National Defining Moments Digital Classroom last month. This is a PaaS GovCMS Drupal 8 website. It is an innovative and timely initiative in a year which has highlighted the value of online learning.  

The NMA worked with two service providers, Ryebuck Media and Bliss Media to deliver their website.   

Research in the early phase of the project helped the NMA to understand the needs of students and teachers. This included aligning content with the Australian curriculum.  

‘We spent six to 12 months laying the foundation work before the creation of any digital content. We forged relationships with teachers and students. They played a critical role in scoping, writing, testing and refining content,’ said David Arnold, Program Manager, NMA.  

The website is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration.   

‘We were lucky enough to include contributions of more than 1000 images, 100 videos and 120 stories. The Australian National University and the National Film and Sound Archive contributed some of these items.’  

Once the NMA had their website content they got Ryebuck Media on board.   

‘Ryebuck has a lot of knowledge of engaging kids in the classroom. They introduced gamification and interactive activities to make learning exciting and relevant.’  

Bliss Media later built the website framework in Drupal. This open source platform was recommended to the NMA by developers. Of great benefit is Drupal's flexibility which allows the addition of external content. This was an ideal solution for the NMA as Ryebuck  had written gaming content in Java script. This was later grafted onto the Drupal website.   

Bliss Media created an information architecture focused around a timeline on the home page.   

‘We wanted a creative and engaging homepage that encourages kids to explore. The timeline helps teachers and students easily navigate the site. Users can also filter information by curriculum, defining moments and learning resources.  

‘I hope the digital classroom will transform Australian students’ online history learning experience.  

GovCMS is pleased the platform is being used to encourage online learning. Explore Australia’s Defining Moments Digital Classroom