Into the Contact Zone: A reflective evaluation of open online digital curation education

  • Jenny Bunn University College London
  • Ed Pinsent


This article focuses on two UK based online courses in the field of digital curation and preservation; Introduction to Digital Curation, run by University College London, and The Beginner’s Guide to the OAIS Reference Model Course, run by the University of London Computer Centre. The courses are considered not against the frame of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as a revolutionary force in education, but against the metaphor of the ‘contact zone’ (adopted from the work of Costis Dallas (2015)), as part of the ongoing development and establishment of digital curation as a field of study. Two dimensions of difference are examined; firstly that between face to face and online learning, and secondly that between different groups of learners (such as current professionals and future professionals).  It concludes that open online education is best seen as a contact zone less in the sense of being the teaching of a professional field of practice and more in the sense of advocacy and the provision of informative resources and enlightening experiences that pique the interest, increase awareness and most of all, make contact.

General Articles