November 30, 2007: Seminar: Leilah Lyons: "Playing Together at the Museum: Preliminary Results on Factors Affecting Participation in a Multi-User Software-Based Exhibit"

Seminar Announcement


Playing Together at the Museum: Preliminary Results on Factors Affecting Participation in a Multi-User Software-Based Exhibit

Leilah Lyons
University of Michigan
Thursday, December 6, 2pm
2:00 p.m., Room SEO 1000


Abstract:

The vast majority of museum attendees visit as social groups, but surprisingly, much of the software found on museum floors has not traditionally been designed for simultaneous use by multiple visitors. For example, audio guides and their audio-visual descendants tend to isolate visitors from one another, and kiosks are difficult for more than one visitor to use at one time. The barriers to simultaneous multi-user participation are largely input/output limitations, and could be avoided by providing shared software activities that are distributed over multiple devices, such as mobile computers or cell phones. A distributed multi-user paradigm like this introduces its own barriers to cooperative use, however, which I investigated in my work.

My research explores design alternatives for distributed multi-user software-based museum exhibits in the context of science museums, where exhibits are predominantly hands-on inquiry-based activities. I wanted to identify factors that support and encourage the cooperative use of software-based exhibits in these highly-interactive science centers. To that end I created alternate implementations of a fast-paced multi-user activity, based around a simplified simulation of cancer growth, to see how different input and output modalities affected the cooperative learning activities of visitors. I will be reporting on data gathered at the Exploratorium, the original hands-on science center, which is located in San Francisco, CA.

Host: Professor Tanya Berger-Wolf












































 
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