Facilitating Learning in Digital Museum Environments


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Presented at 2012 Visitor Studies Association Conference in Raleigh, NC by Kirsten Ellenbogen, Elizabeth Fleming, Troy Livingston and Jeff Grabill

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Facilitating Learning in Digital Museum Environments

  1. 1. Facilitating Learning in Digital Museum Environments Kirsten Ellenbogen • @kellenbogen • kellenbogen@smm.org Elizabeth Fleming • @elizabef • elizabethf@ncmls.org Troy Livingston • @Troybur • troy.livingston@ncmls.org Jeff Grabill • @grabill • grabill@msu.edu
  2. 2. Take Two ProjectOur framing question: How do web 2.0 technologies Impact Museum Learning and Practice?Our focus: On a science museum blog (Science Buzz) and on the impact that web 2.0 technologies on museum practice (MLS).Our big question: Do online interactions rise to the level of “co- construction of knowledge?”
  3. 3. Understanding Online InteractionIn Take 2, our investigation of online activity relied ondiscourse analysis to characterize that activity, focusing onfour major rhetorical acts:
  4. 4. Take Two ProjectSome high level findings:• The Buzz blog is a site where informal argumentation happens. Lots of it• There were also high levels of identity work• There was meaningful community building work as well• Facilitation seemed to be a big deal • Clear styles of facilitation were visible • These styles seemed to be associated with different outcomesAnd so we thought this merited more exploration …
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  6. 6. Learning is an ongoing process of change due to interactionsbetween individuals and their social and physical environments.This ecological perspective emphasizes that the activity of learning isshaped by learners’ interests and needs, their prior experiences, theircompanions, facilitators, and other distinctive features of their specificsocio-cultural and physical environments.In our people-centered view of an online learning ecology, we seeevidence of learning through the examination of an individual’sadaptations, which may be observed in many ways including theiractions, language, emotions and practices.For our study of online learning environments, we are particularlyconcerned with facilitation, such aslistening, questioning, involving, encouraging, and redirecting, whichplay an important role in creating strong learning environments.
  7. 7. Understanding Online InteractionIn Facilitation, our investigation of online activity also reliedon discourse analysis to characterize that activity: Change Learning Discourse Facilitation Environment • Change in action, • Claim • Introducing ideas thinking or values • Citing authority • Suggesting follow up • Sympathy or empathy • Citing evidence actions that shows a change in • Explanations • Demonstrating sympathy thought or feeling • Articulation of shared or empathy • Use of technical or roles or experiences • Demonstrating respect scientific concepts or • Invocation of place, for perspective or identity language evidence, or status • Invitations (to connect, to • Other change move • Use of values, affect, or develop ideas) technology • Redirection • Other DE move • Provocation • Construction of connection between ideas or people
  8. 8. Facilitation MovesIntroducing new ideasStatement introduces a new idea, concept, or example thathas not been previously statedSuggesting follow-up actionsStatement providing advice or direction to another’sexploration of a subjectDemonstrating sympathy or empathyAn explicit statement recognizing or relating to emotionsexperienced by anotherDemonstrating respect for perspective or identityAn explicit statement demonstrating a positive response toanother’s account of their actions or identity
  9. 9. Facilitation MovesInvitation developmentAn explicit request to explain or expand for understandingInvitation connectionAn explicit request to explain or expand to foster connection tothe ideas of othersRedirectionA statement or request that explicitly changes the focus of theconversationProvokingA statement playing “devil’s advocate” or explicitly naming ataboo subject that participants are talking around
  10. 10. Facilitation MovesConstruction of a connection between ideas or peopleExplicit reference within the thread that indexes aspecific name or idea in a previous post
  11. 11. Preliminary FindingsThere are three facilitation moves that are associated withchange: 1. Invitations (connection in particular but also development) 2. Construction of connections between people and ideasIt is clear that “experimonth itself” has agency: 1. Activities that create heightened awareness 2. Activities that ask people to share things (pictures, links, articles, etc.) 3. Technology and cultures that allow for meaningful conversations to happen 4. Experimonth facilitators