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Enhancing Engagement with Online Museums

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Museums exist to disseminate information as well as to preserve knowledge, and these institutions have recognised the potential of the Web to support this role. The Web has opened up access to information and has allowed an increased number of ‘visitors’ to museums online. However, these online visitors do not have the same experience online than they would if they were to visit the actual museum (Proctor, 2010). Disseminating such information in a meaningful way has become one of the main challenges for the Online Museum (OM); for this reason, in the past few years museums have become increasingly concerned with the way the general public and particular sectors of it (e.g. children) acquire specific knowledge from their displays and collections (Hooper-Greenhill, 2004). It is nowadays accepted that learners should be active and not passive receptors of information, where the learner is involved in hands-on activities and participatory exhibitions. Learning is an activity where the mind and body are required to work together (Gray, 2010, Hooper-Greenhill and Moussouri, 2002).

As said, the Web started an on-going transformation on how museums interact with audiences and vice versa. The way in which this is happening has not been completely understood yet due to the novelty of the Web. In addition, due to this novelty, there are many new technologies that the OM could benefit from, but that nevertheless, haven’t been identified nor adopted by the museum sector. OMs have a big challenge to provide the best experience when visiting their collections. New technologies are being used and developed everyday and many of them can provide a pathway to promote engagement in the OM. No matter how the interaction occurs in the OM, it will always happen through a User Interface (UI). Therefore, it can be argued that Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) can provide a pathway for producing learning activities where users/visitors can be active, thus constructing knowledge. Nevertheless, it is necessary to study such tools in order to understand their impact in the several communities that embrace the OM, along with technological issues that may hinder its implementation by the museum community or enthusiasts.

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Enhancing Engagement with Online Museums

  1. 1. Sh ar in g e le dg Kn ow Re se ar ch Ed uc at io n n Ex hi bi tio e ns tiv ra io at el ist in g tin ke ar M m Ad R ic bl Pu Enhancing Engagement with Online Museums Museums exist to disseminate knowledge, as well as to preserve it. Museums have a responsibility towards the communities of whom they hold the objects thus playing an important role in their cultural development (ICOM, 2013, Trevelyan, 2008). In the offline museum, the transfer of knowledge is carried out by interacting with an artefact. Alternatively, in the OM the transfer of knowledge takes place by interacting with the information presented to the users. Museums on the Web Online Museums Knowledge (OM) How is knowledge constructed? Informatum Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this research, data and information will be addressed as a single entity called informatum. D I Data K Information Javier Pereda W Knowledge j.pereda@soton.ac.uk Web Science DTC Wisdom It is by adding meaning, that the transition between the elements is possible in the DIKW Model (Ackoff, 1989). One of the main objectives of this research is to enhance the engagement with data and information held in the OM. Informatum Production Informatum Sharing Engagement withInformatum Museums, Researchers, Media, Publishers, etc… Museum Professionals, Researchers, Archaeologists, etc… The process of Informatum Production includes not just the input of data but the strategy or vision to make it useful and/or meaningful to the different museum users so they can retrieve the relevant information that they are looking for to fill that gap in their knowledge. Users of the OM, Developers, Designers, etc… Some of the important factors when sharing informatum are not only access to the data, but also the possibility to create relationships between the different datasets (e.g. Linked Data). The OM presents the channel for visitors to engage with informatum related to cultural heritage that would come from different sources. To access any sort of digital data or information, a UI is necessary. The OM is the bridge in between the informatum and the user/visitor. In the process of defining different levels of interaction and/or type of user levels in the OM, Taylor (1967) provides a set of different perspectives of how a user/visitor might attempt to gain knowledge. Visceral Conscious Formalised Compromised Interactions Systems for the Online Museum Human Information Interaction Human Computer Interaction User Experience Constructivism Demateriallisation Physical Environment Objects/Artifacts Tangible Static Persistent Intangible Dynamic Transient Informatum Digital World Tangible Interaction (Campenhout, et.al., 2013) Tangible User Interface (TUI) TUIs present an interactive paradigm where a wider range of opportunities can be exploited. An example of this is the capability of different levels of digital inclusion to be applied into interactive interfaces. Supervisors Dr. Leif Isaksen Dr. Yuanyuan Yin School of Humanities, Archaeological Computing Dr. Graeme Earl Winchester School of Art School of Humanities, Archaeological Computing

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