University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring Engagement in Science Museums : A Comparative Study of Static and Interactive Exhibitions

Voorde, Britt M. ten (2023) Exploring Engagement in Science Museums : A Comparative Study of Static and Interactive Exhibitions.

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Abstract:This study investigated the differences in engagement among children between static and interactive museum exhibitions, to provide insights that can inform future museum exhibition designs and improve the engagement of young museum visitors. Here, engagement is subdivided into three components: cognitive, behavioural, and affective. The study involved 17 Dutch children aged 6-12 years, who visited both a static exhibition on “the beetle” and an interactive exhibition on “thunder and lightning” at “de Museumfabriek” in Enschede, the Netherlands. Children's engagement was assessed through observations and semi-structured interviews conducted after their visits. The Activity Engagement Scale by Ben-Eliyahu et al. (2018) served as the foundation for the interview questions and observational measures. The findings revealed significant differences in engagement between the static and interactive exhibitions. In terms of cognitive engagement, participants mentioned that they learned something more often while visiting the interactive exhibition. Regarding behavioural engagement, the interactive exhibition stimulated more interactions and discussions among participants, both with peers and adults. Lastly, affective engagement was found to be more positive in the interactive exhibition, where children reported feelings of excitement and interest. These findings highlight the importance of interactivity in enhancing engagement in science museums.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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