- Peer Review: Monum: Centre des monuments nationaux
Monum: Centre des monuments nationaux
- May 21, 2002 by World Languages
Overall Rating: 5.0 stars
Content Quality: 5.0 stars
Effectiveness: 5.0 stars
Ease of Use: 5.0 stars
- Monum is a comprehensive reference site from the Centre des monuments nationaux
that features a wealth of information on major monuments throughout France. All
of the "incontournables" are represented: the Pantheon, Mont-Saint-Michel, Notre
Dame, Chambord and many more. New additions to the monuments are included as
well as information about current activities and exhibits.The section
"Decouvrir" leads users to the complete collection and to a search engine, an
interactive map of France, a timeline,quizzes, videos, discussion forums and
e-cards. Monum also contains a section for children, a travel organizer, a
bookstore, a journal and a gift shop. It is available in French and English, and
in multimedia (Flash) and HTML versions. Excellent quality content and
- Type of Material:
- Reference, collection
- Recommended Uses:
- This site can be profitably used in French history and civilization courses, as
well as to enrich French language courses.
- Technical Requirements:
- Netscape 3.0 or higher, MS Internet Explorer 4.0. For multimedia version: Flash,
RealPlayer 5.0, Quicktime 4. Recommends 800x600 screen resolution.
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
- Users will learn about the history, location and features of French monuments as
well as how to plan visits and itineraries. Although not originally designed
for FSL instruction, Monum can definitely be helpful to increase cultural
awareness by introducing the learners to the French monuments, their history
and significance in past and contemporary French culture. The site offers a
broad array of facts in culture, history, geography. The user can practice
linguistic functions related to numbers, dimensions, distances, time and space,
locating and describing, expressing and identifying past, present and future
events. One can also practice daily-life vocabulary and discover other (e.g.
architectural, travel) registers of language.
- Target Student Population:
- Since this site is available in French and English, the material is accessible
to all levels. There are also special sections for children, labelled "Interdit
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
- None for French or English speakers. Students of French will be able to use the
French site in the second semester of French.
- Monum offers a wealth of historical, architectural and cultural informations
that readers can access in various ways, appropriate, customize and save in
personal portfolios. For each monument, one will find a concise presentation
with pictures, the monument's location on the map, nearby sites to visit, links
to other resources, and practical informations such as street and email
addresses, phone numbers, opening days and times, ticket prices, services and
road directions. Users can choose either FLASH or HTML versions of MONUM. The
variety of activities possible at the site is impressive. Some monuments
contain their own minisites and Shockwave movies. The virtual tour of La
Conciergerie brings the user right into the cell of Marie Antoinette and is very
effective. Users can search monuments by type, style, period, famous
personalities and key words.
From the section "Mes Monuments" (at the top of the screen) users have the
possibility to appropriate the information by creating three types of
portfolios: one to prepare for their travel ("Mon voyage") in which they can
store practical information on the monuments they want to visit; one ("Mes
monuments preferes") that will contain links to their favorite monuments in
Monum; and finally a multimedia portfolio ("Mon carnet multimedia") where they
can either store pictures from Monum or import photos from other locations
(other websites or their own collections). The portfolio "Mon voyage" features
an itinerary organizor that can calculate distances between places to visit,
look for driving directions or street maps and find nearby hotels.
In its main entrance Monum features an "Actualites" section on current
culturalevents held at some of the monuments. This section advertises and
reviews events such as art exhibitions, plays, concerts, conferences, etc, most
of which are sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture as part of its policy
to integrate the monuments into contemporary culture.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
- This site can be very profitably used by independent learners planning research
papers, oral reports or other projects in French history, civilization or
culture. There are alphabetically arranged quizzes, with feedback, for students
who wish to assess their knowledge of the various monuments. Learning
assignments could be easily written for the content in this site. Instructors
can also project the Shockwave movies for in-class use.
Monum can be incorporated in multiple ways in traditional as well as on-line,
self-paced or individualized instruction. Language courses can be built around
the site, which will provide cultural content as well as practically-oriented
activities (giving directions, describing, comparing, expression of time, etc)
and ideas for group-based dicussions and projects. Monum will also be the
perfect companion to advanced courses in culture and literature, mostly those
focusing on pre-20th century periods. One will also find it a valuable resource
to prepare the students for DELF-DALF exams, the Certificat de francais du
tourisme or the Certificat pratique de la Chambre de Commerce de Paris.
One can easily think of a course designed around the theme of the French
Monuments which would use Monum as the first resource. Students could explore
Monum in class under the guidance of the teacher who would assign the study of
sections of the site as homework and creation of personal portfolios. Individual
and group activities or projects, such as organizing a tour of several
monuments and developing a brochure to advertise it, can easily be designed
using Monum tools and reference materials. In advanced language and culture
courses, the site will be a good starting point for research on a single
monument's historical and cultural significance.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
- Monum has clear navigation and a very attractive interface. The home page is
divided at the center by a row of monument icons which scroll horizontally.
Simply passing the mouse over a monument will bring up information about
currently featured events there. Clicking on the image will bring a short
description of the monument in question and links to the fact sheet or minisite,
the electronic post card space or the discussion forum on the monument.
One can also use the Decouvrir, Apprendre and Preparer navigation bar to visit
the site. Decouvrir provides the various search possibilties either through a
clickable map or the search terms of type, style, period, personnage or key
The "Apprendre" section contains interactive quizzes with feedback which are
easy to use and informative. "Preparer" uses the mapping tool "Mappy" to help
the visitor plan trips to the various monuments. "Opinions" contains the reviews
of users on the site and the various monuments. The excellent quality of
the layout, graphics, videos and photos makes this site ideal for in-class
projections. Both the HTML and Flash versions offer the same features.
- Other Issues and Comments:
- High speed connection is recommended for Flash format presentations.
Otherwise, it is better to select the HTML format.
- Navigation may be painstaking for first-time users due to the fact
that some the links in individual monument pages - e.g. "glossaire", "livres
et objets" and "sites a proximite" - once followed do not allow one to return
to the monument page, obligingone to go back up one level and search again for
- Access to information (e.g. road maps) stocked in outside servers may
be limited at times of heavy use.
- Creative Commons: