This study sought to compare the experiences of student experiences of museum tours in different forms. They studied a group of students who went through traditional guided museum tours and another group who did a virtual museum tour on a touch-based application. Their goal was to assess both the learning outcomes of each mode of tour, as well as the user experience. They employed knowledge tests on the related exhibit material to measure how well the students were learning. They found no significant difference in the level of learning outcomes between the two modes, but the virtual tour participants reported a better user experience. The virtual tour students appeared more engaged with the content and were more likely to repeat a visit. I would be most interested in a deeper understanding of why the experience was better. Also, it should be mentioned that while a virtual tour may have presented a better user-experience in this context, it may not be the digital mode that was better. There are any number of additional factors that may have influenced the experience, including the awareness of being experimented on. In my opinion, this is the primary challenge with researching people. It is unethical to do the research without consent, but with consent you are affecting the data before it can even be collected.
Zaharias, P., Michael, D., & Chrysanthou, Y. (2013). Learning through Multi-touch Interfaces in Museum Exhibits: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16(3), 374–384.
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