Kelsey Research Associate Sharon Herbert, along with six U-M colleagues, has won a Transformation grant from the Transforming Learning for a Third Century program to change the way students learn about the ancient world. The grant will, among other things, allow Professor Herbert and her colleagues to offer what they call “The Kelsey Experience” to every undergraduate class that teaches the ancient world.

The Kelsey Experience has been piloted for the last two years in the Near Eastern Studies course “The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages,” taught by Professor Yaron Eliav. Students in that course visited the Kelsey Museum for hands-on learning about ancient artifacts. Their physical examination of 20 different Kelsey holdings and their interaction with Museum staff members was enhanced by 3-D digital presentations of the objects, video clips of Near Eastern sites, and a website that enabled interactive research on the objects. The course culminated in the Jackier Prize essay competition based on students’ hands-on research experience.

To extend the Kelsey Experience to every undergraduate course with content on the ancient world, 80 more Kelsey objects will be prepared—with worksheets, 3-D photographs, and relevant bibliography—and incorporated into an interactive website with supporting maps, video clips, timelines, and glossaries. In addition, the Jackier Prize will become a campus-wide essay competition.