Visitor Learning from a Science Centre Exhibition
Usha Chandraseharan, 20218671
How many of you have actually learnt something after a visit to the museum? There is such a vast amount of information that free to be learnt at the museum, but just how many of us leave satisfied? There may be many new discoveries that may leave us in awe, but what about learning and widening our knowledge? With the Contextual Model of Learning derived by Falk and Dierking, 12 factors have been derived that affect one’s ability to learn from an exhibition. These factors are divided into 3 categories, personal context, sociocultural context and lastly physical context. The experiment was carried out in the form of surveys and mostly their target audience was people who had a vast understanding of science, worked in science fields and also science graduates.
Evaluating this experiment was essential to appreciate the study as well as understand it in a better manner. Firstly, this experiment was open to the public. People who attended this exhibition were of various age, occupations, gender and such. With picking only the ‘science-knowledged’, it was pretty evident that the sample size achieved was relatively small and also, while narrowing down to the 3 categories, sample sizes only got smaller. With a small sample size, an experiment would be less accurate.
Also, 12 factors were claimed to have affected education in a museum. These 12 factors were divided into 3 categories and surveyed. The results showed that these categories worked together in resulting an effect in museum learning. But the results did not show that these factors, on an individual basis, would affect education. Thus I believe not a perfect framework was used to analyse the amount one learned in an exhibition.
Lastly, surveys were done to attain results. Due to the vast improvement in technology these days, there are many new and interesting methods to confirm learning instead of surveys that do have a level of inaccuracy.
Falk, J., Storksdieck, M. (2005). Using the contextual model of learning to understand visitor learning from a science centre exhibition. Wiley Periodicals Inc, Sci Ed 89: 744-778