Cabinet is an online platform designed to support the use of objects and images in teaching. It provides an intuitive and flexible interface for uploading and presenting 2D and 3D digitised images from collections in Oxford and elsewhere, which can be made available together with contextual information, notes, annotations and guidance on how to explore the material.
The platform features tools that allow users to zoom, spin, annotate and discuss objects. A major feature is the ability to explore full-colour 3D models of objects, ranging from minute artefacts a few centimetres across to entire monuments from the Oxford landscape. The combination of objects, tools and written information provides a rich, interactive environment for teaching and learning, increasing the potential for fruitful individual and collective study.
Cabinet is working across the University’s GLAM collections, and with academics from across the University Divisions. One example, from the Faculty of History, allows students to study the development of scientific thought in the seventeenth century through the exploration of digital versions of fantastic resources in Oxford: sites, objects, images, and texts. Another example, from the Faculty of English, uses images and 3D models of artefacts from the Ashmolean Museum to complement the study of classical references in eighteenth century literature. Students use Cabinet as preparation for class, during lectures and tutorials, as well as when revising and preparing for extended essays. Cabinet helps them become more comfortable and familiar with 'reading' and interpreting objects alongside texts, encouraging them to engage with museum collections both within and outside the platform.
In 2017, Cabinet received an OxTALENT Award after winning the Innovation Challenges: Staff category. In addition, Cabinet users have been awarded a further OxTALENT Award for Innovative Teaching and Learning with Technology (2018), a Humanities Teaching Excellence Award (2018), and four Teaching Awards across multiple University departments.