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ERIC Number: EJ825045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8326
The Unintended Effects of Interactive Objects and Labels in the Science Museum
Atkins, Leslie J.; Velez, Lisanne; Goudy, David; Dunbar, Kevin N.
Science Education, v93 n1 p161-184 Jan 2009
What effects do different setups of museum exhibits have on visitors' conversations and interactions? The study reported here is an investigation of the role that labels and associated materials play in visitors' conversations and interactions at a heat camera exhibit. After we introduced a label to help visitors explore the insulating properties of clothing, we found a dramatic shift in the kinds of activities and participation structures of visitors. Not only were visitors, as expected, discussing why clothing was warm, but they were doing so in a fashion more consistent with formal education than the typically more collaborative conversations seen in informal learning environments. Overall, our analyses reveal that labels and activities presented serve to frame both the activities that visitors engage in and the types of conversations that ensue and that this has deep influences on visitors' experiences at the exhibit. (Contains 6 figures, 6 tables and 3 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A