fbpx Using observations to find evidence for interactive learning | Ecsite

Using observations to find evidence for interactive learning

14.06.2023 | 09:00 - 17:45

Wednesday 14 Jun 2023

Activity Laboratory Level 1

Activity Laboratory Level 1
Research, theory & evaluation

When you walk around a science center and see visitors engaging with interactive exhibits, you imagine that a lot of learning is going on. What unique learning opportunities do interactive exhibits offer? What is the significance of learning by doing? What does the visitor gain from acting rather than just watching? And how can you measure how what people do affects their learning experience? Traditionally, we have used surveys to determine if visitors have understood the phenomenon, or if they have become more interested in the topic. But asking verbal questions may not always be the most suitable way to capture if and how learning takes place during physical interactions. In this REV group workshop, we will discuss how we can use observations to study how and what type of learning takes place when visitors engage in physical interaction with exhibits. We will start looking at this from a more theoretical standpoint and apply that understanding in thinking about appropriate methods.

Outcomes: what will participants get from this session? Skills, knowledge, experience etc.

Participants will…

- get familiar with theories that explain the role of body and physical experience in learning

- get an introduction into theoretical perspectives around interactive learning

- discuss observations as a method of obtaining data on such activities

- discuss the significance of incorporating movement into exhibition design that promotes equality

- develop ideas and skills regarding discovering interactive learning


Project manager
Leibniz Centre of Excellence for Museum Education

Session speakers

Director of Innovations
Dr. Ilona Iłowiecka-Tańska is a researcher at the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, Poland. After studying cultural anthropology (MA), Ilona Tańska completed her PhD in Cultural Studies at Warsaw University. She leads the researchers at the Copernican Revolution Lab: the R&D branch of the museum. Her work focuses on two main areas. First is designing and facilitation of the research-practice partnerships to develop innovative learning tools. Second is the research on the cultural and pedagogical role of exhibits and exhibition design in learning at the museum. She will provide theoretical insights in the measurement of learning by physical activity and will share case studies from the Copernicus Science Center in this session.
Assistant professor informal science education
Leiden University
As a researcher in science museums, I have studied the interaction of visitors with exhibits and objects through analysing conversations and observations. By analysing what is actually happening during visitor interactions, we are able to determine how visitors learn from exhibits and objects. At the same time, these research and evaluation methods are not easy to conduct. I’m looking forward to discussing pros and cons and best practices during this preconference.
Head of Visitor and Educational Research
Since April 2021, I have been the head of the department of visitor and educational research at the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB), Museum Koenig Bonn. Before, I have been working in different educational science projects for and with museums. My Ph.D. was about conflicting information in (science) museums. I utilised a qualitative inquiry in my last major project on processes of imparting and acquisition in museum guided tours. I am passionate about museums and looking forward to discussing methods for visitor research.
Audience Research & Evaluation Professional
As a member of experimenta’s research and evaluation team I conceive studies to gain insights in the background of our visitors (and non-visitors) and how they use and appreciate our offers. I am working on the automated evaluation of the visit data, and I am fundamentally interested in digital data collection instruments. My favourite approach is covert observations to get a quick and largely uninfluenced impression of exhibit usage. I look forward to discussing indicators for learning in visitor’s behavior.

Twitter archive