Monday, 11 March 2013

B7: Workshop: The Thetford Tomb Raiders: The challenge of turning research findings into an educational App


Nicola Bedall-Hill
University of Leicester, UK

The Representing Re-Formation project is an interdisciplinary Science and Heritage project exploring the multifaceted lives of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk - the most prominent noble family during the era of Reformation. The project combines multiple research disciplines from the University of Leicester, University of Oxford, the Yale Center for British Art, Yale University and English Heritage. The three year project has been studying the Howard Tombs, two of which were originally planned to stand in Thetford Priory, Norfolk, but were moved after the priory's dissolution by Henry VIII. The University of Leicester's Space Science centre has produced virtual reconstructions of the tombs and some possibly associated fragments from an archeological dig in the 1930s with state-of-the-art 3D scanning hardware.

The project has reached its final year and dissemination has begun through academic means. However further means of sharing these findings with the wider public is seen as integral to increasing the project's impact - part of the challenge of making academic research more accessible.

This paper will showcase the design and development of an augment reality iOS application. It will consider how the results of a large interdisciplinary project can be delivered to the public and used as an educational resource in schools and museums. The focus of the app is upon the funerals and tomb monuments of the Howard family. The app enables offsite and onsite geo-located AR of 3D images of the artifacts found at the dissolved Thetford Priory site. Telling stories around their importance and other research findings from this project through digital interaction using an enquiry-based design that mimics the research process of the project is a key focus. We hope that as well as explaining some of the interesting findings it gives insight into the murky world of academic research!

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