Reach out and touch by sdfsb346f

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									Reach out and touch
Reach out and touch
       Tim Caulton
  www.museumintelligence.com
  Developing effective interactive exhibits
       for the 21st Century museum



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                                  Reach out and touch
              The way we were…

  There was a lot of good creative practice in museum
  education, but it was at the fringe of museum activity



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                                           Reach out and touch
 The catalyst for change was A Common Wealth (1997)
 which provided a vision for museums and learning in the
 UK:
               Education led
               Resource rich
               Provide first-hand learning experiences
               Driven by visitor-research
               Attract diverse audiences



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                                                 Reach out and touch
 A Common Wealth predicted that museums of the future
 would incorporate a range of interpretative devices:

                Artefacts
                Hands-on exhibits
                New technologies
                Live interpreters
                Special events and educational programmes


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                                               Reach out and touch
               The way we are…

    Learning is at the heart of museum activity, but
   museums are in competition with a plethora of other
                         media


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                                          Reach out and touch
 What is distinctive about effective museum interactives?

     A hands-on or interactive museum exhibit
     has clear intended learning outcomes,
     encourages individuals or groups of people
     working together to understand real
     objects or real phenomena through
     physical exploration involving choice and
     initiative

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                                              Reach out and touch
 A shared understanding of the context for effective
 learning:

          We learn in different ways at different ages
          We have different learning styles
          We have different interests and abilities
          Visitors construct their own meaning from exhibits
          Most visitors browse exhibitions
          Effective learning depends on the personal, social and
          physical context to the visit
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                                                  Reach out and touch
 What makes a successful interactive exhibit?
 Some basic rules – effective interactives should:

            Have clear operational and outcome goals
            Give visitors something to do / touch / see / hear
            Build upon the familiar
            Enable the visitor to learn and have fun
            Attract the visitor



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                                                     Reach out and touch
 What makes a successful interactive exhibit?
 Some basic rules – effective interactives should:

            Elicit a response within two seconds
            Have direct and obvious actions and reactions
            Be intuitive to use, with minimal labelling
            Involve choice and initiative
            Have multiple and open-ended outcomes



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                                                     Reach out and touch
 What makes a successful interactive exhibit?
 Some basic rules – effective interactives should:

            Work at multiple intellectual levels
            Encourage social interaction
            Be well-designed, safe, hygienic, robust, easily
            maintained, cleaned and repaired
            Work without explainers, enablers or interpreters
            Return to the start for the next visitor


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                                                     Reach out and touch
 What makes a successful interactive exhibit?
 In summary, three factors are critical:

            Motivation
            Communication
            Ergonomics

            See ‘Everything we currently know about making visitor friendly mechanical
            interactives......Or 28 painful lessons learnt’
            http://www.big.uk.com/knowledgebase/exhibits/index.htm


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                                                                     Reach out and touch
 Generating ideas might involve:
              Brainstorming and problem-solving with colleagues and
              other stakeholders
              Focus groups with target visitors

 Assessing ideas might involve:
              Front-end evaluation
              Formative evaluation
              Risk and operational assessment
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                                                Reach out and touch

								
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