IMPROVING THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE OF MUSEUM VISITORS: EXAMINING DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXPERIENCE IN THE GENOME: UNLOCKING LIFE’S CODE EXHIBIT
In this study, we examined outcomes from three different kinds of learning approaches that address the same broad goals with the topic of "The Moorea Biocode Project" at the exhibit Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code. The three main ideas were: 1) Visitors will understand how National Museum of Natural History scientists search for biodiversity in a coral reef system; 2) Visitors will understand that Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) is a method for collecting organisms in a way that is nondestructive; 3) Visitors will understand that genomics is necessary for the identification of the diversity of species. The approaches we studied were an exhibit display (rail), a video, and an interactive activity. We also examined the effectiveness of these approaches for people who prefer different kinds of experiences using the Ideas-People-Objects-Physical (IPOP) typology of visitors developed by the Smithsonian’s Office of Policy & Analysis. Our intent was to learn whether the rail, the video, and the activity were equally effective at stimulating learning and whether they were equally effective for all IPOP types. We found that there was significantly greater learning about DNA using the activity approach, about Research Purpose with the rail and about biodiversity with the video. We recommend the museum educator ensure that all exhibit target Ideas, People, Object and Physical (IPOP) Visitors.
Gil Acevedo, J., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Puerto Rico, email@example.com
Watson, B., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Time: 16:00 - 18:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall
Presentation is given by student: Yes