Learning in museums with new technologies

From 2006 to 2009 I was a researcher and project coordinator at the Knowledge Media Research Center Tuebingen in a research project addressing the role of new technologies for learning in museums.

The research project „Learning in museums: the role of media for the recontextualisation of objects“ explored the potential of digital media for learning in natural science museums and exhibtions. The three-year interdisciplinary research project, running from January 2006 to December 2008, has been funded by the Leibniz Gemeinschaft as part of the „Pact for Research and Innovation“. It was conducted in cooperation with the Deutsches Museum Munich and the Leibniz Institute for Pedagogics of Natural Sciences Kiel.

The central research questions were:

  • How do digital media influence the perception and understanding of exhibits by museum visitors?
  • What consequences can we expect from contextualizing objects by means of digital media in terms of visitors‘ behaviors, communications, and cognitive processing?

The aims of the project were:

  • to address questions relevant to museum practitioners,
  • to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of museum learning and
  • to develop scientific methods for researching informal learning environments.

In addition, the findings allow to derive practical guidelines about how exhibitions and especially digital media elements can be evaluated, advanced and optimized with regard to their learning potentials.

Selected publications:

Hauser, Walter, Noschka-Roos, Annette, Reussner, Eva & Zahn, Carmen (2009): „Design-Based Research on Digital Media in a Museum Environment„. Visitor Studies, 12: 2, 182-198.

Schwan, Stephan; Zahn, Carmen; Wessel, Daniel; Huff, Markus; Herrmann, Nadine & Reussner, Eva (2008): „Lernen in Museen und Ausstellungen – die Rolle digitaler Medien“. Unterrichtswissenschaft – Zeitschrift für Lernforschung. Thema: Lernen im Museum, 36 (2), 117-135.

Reussner, E. M., Schwan, S., & Zahn, C. (2007). „New technologies for learning in museums? An interdisciplinary research project„. In J. Trant, & D. Bearman (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting (ICHIM07). Toronto, Canada: Archives & Museum Informatics.

Additional information: www.iwm-kmrc.de/museum/en/