National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) (PAKISTAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 3091-3098
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0861
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
We are living in a digital age where the use of smart-phones and tablets are prevailing. Advanced technologies have made us digital at our homes, institutes and work places. With the ever increasing digital information available at the click of a button, there is a need for museums to engage and motivate their visitors as education is their primary purpose. Museums have to provide interactive and hands on play environment to their diverse group of visitors, where learners may experience immersive learning and explore new things in an exclusive educational environment.

There are many museums in Pakistan for history, science, arts and culture. They are well-maintained and effective places for getting information. They have wonderful collection of artifacts and well-displayed galleries. Information is displayed in a systematic order. Unfortunately, they are still unable to meet the entire requirements of interactive learning environment (ILE) for museums. Museum artifacts or galleries are well displayed but they are static and lack active participation. In history museums, there is absence of interactivity exhibits and storytelling. Information is available in the form of too much text and the same information is for every age group including experts, layman and children that distracts or removes interest.

The purpose of the study was to develop an interactive learning environment for museums and explore its impact on visitors’ engagement and learning of historical events. The study utilized an exploratory approach, where museum visitors’ engagement and learning were observed while exploring and learning through ILE compared to static museum display.

An interactive learning environment was developed on the personal life history of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Historical events of ILE were specially designed and developed using constructivism and principles of universal design of learning. It was deployed in a museum located in Islamabad, Pakistan. The developed ILE was used for collecting relevant data for identifying the impact of interactive learning environment on visitors learning and engagement in museum. A pilot study was also conducted to test the ILE’s user interface and evaluation of data collection instruments.

The study used the MARVEL methodology abbreviated as ‘Museums Actively Researching Visitors Experiences and Learning’, for data collection. It provides opportunity to actively examine and research visitors’ experiences and learning in museums. Therefore, visitors’ engagement levels were recorded via observing their behaviors using observation checklist. Modes of learning inventory (MOLI) and interviews were conducted to examine the amount of learning taking place in museum.

The findings showed that interactive learning environment helped museum visitors in acquiring a better understanding of the subject matter presented. This could be seen from the improvements of visitors’ engagement and learning through ILE compared to static museum display. In addition to this, positive views and sentiments of museum visitors about the ILE further strengthened the findings.

The study has demonstrated that interactive learning environment using a touch screen interface can be an effective medium for learning history in a museum, as the results of research have indicated that ILE was found better in engaging museum visitors and increasing their learning efficiency.
Museums, Education, Interactive, Environment, Learning, Visitors, History, Engagement, ILE, MARVEL.