Contents: Introduction plenary Session Abstracts: Towards Museums of the Future

What is the Nature of Interactive Experiences?

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What is the Nature of Interactive Experiences?

Linking Research and Practice

Theano Moussouri, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
What do we mean when we say a museum experience is “interactive”? What is the core or essences of such an experience? What do we know about visitors' attitudes towards, interests in and perceptions of interactive spaces? How do visitors' perceptions of interactive exhibitions compare to these perceptions of more traditional, or hands-off, museums? How do people learn from interactive experiences?

This session aims to address these questions using research findings from studies carried out with different visitor groups across a variety of museums (art, science, natural history and children's) in the U.S. and Europe. This session will identify patterns in visitors' expectations and perceptions of interactive and non-interactive museums, as well as ways in which visitors engage with and learn from interactive experiences. The overall goal of the session is to propose a set of guidelines, based on research findings, for developing high quality interactive visitor experiences in museums that will assist museum practitioners in developing more grounded and responsible interactive experiences.

This session is aimed at museum educators, communicators, students, exhibition designers, developers, and evaluators who are involved in the, design, development and/or assessment of interactive experiences. Time will be provided for dialogue and discussion with participants.

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