Design for Mobile Learning in Museums

Design for Mobile Learning in Museums

Nikolaos Tselios (University of Patras, Greece), Ioanna Papadimitriou (University of Patras, Greece), Dimitrios Raptis (University of Patras, Greece), Nikoletta Yiannoutsou (University of Patras, Greece), Vassilis Komis (University of Patras, Greece) and Nikolaos Avouris (University of Patras, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-871-0.ch016
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This chapter discusses the design challenges of mobile museum learning applications. Museums are undoubtedly rich in learning opportunities to be further enhanced with effective use of mobile technology. A visit supported and mediated by mobile devices can trigger the visitors’ motivation by stimulating their imagination and engagement, giving opportunities to reorganize and conceptualise historical, cultural and technological facts in a constructive and meaningful way. In particular, context of use, social and constructivist aspects of learning and novel pedagogical approaches are important factors to be taken in consideration during the design process. A thorough study of existing systems is presented in the chapter in order to offer a background for extracting useful design approaches and guidelines. The chapter closes with a discussion on our experience in designing a collaborative learning activity for a cultural history museum.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Device: A device which is typically characterized by mobility, small form factor and communication functionality and focuses on handling a particular type of information and related tasks. Typical devices could be a Smartphone or a PDA. Mobile devices may overlap in definition or are sometimes referred to as information appliances, wireless devices, handhelds or handheld devices.

Context: Context is any information that can be used to characterize the situation of an entity. An entity is a person, place, or object that is considered relevant to the interaction between a user and an application, including the user and applications themselves (Dey, 2001).

Context-Aware: The ability to sense context.

Museum Learning: A kind of informal learning which is not teacher mediated. It refers to how well a visit inspires and stimulates people into wanting to know more, as well as changing how they see themselves and their world both as an individual and as part of a community. It is a wide concept that can include not only the design and implementation of special events and teaching sessions, but also the planning and production of exhibitions and any other activity of the museum which can play an educational role.

Activity Theory: Is a psychological framework, with its roots in Vygotsky’s cultural-historical psychology. Its goal is to explain the mental capabilities of a single human being. However, it rejects the isolated human being as an adequate unit of analysis, focusing instead on cultural and technical mediation of human activity.

Mobile Learning: Is the delivery of learning to students who are not keeping a fixed location or through the use of mobile or portable technology.

Interaction Design: Interaction design is a sub-discipline of the design notion which aims to examine the role of embedded behaviors and intelligence in physical and virtual spaces as well as the convergence of physical and digital products. In particular, interaction design is concerned with a user experience flow through time and is typically informed by user research design with an emphasis on behavior as well as form. Interaction design is evaluated in terms of functionality, usability and emotional factors.

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