Project

VisitorEngagement

Goal: The project VISITOR ENGAGEMENT will develop an innovative system that measures what engages visitors in science centres. The main objective of VISITOR ENGAGEMENT is to measure engagement, user experience in science centres and museums. This will be done by means of sensor and camera technology, and the registration of user behaviour in combination with short surveys. Data can be observed using sensor technology without storing personal information and without bothering the visitor. The visitor data will provide valuable information when they are entered into the Exhibition Management System (XMS). The XMS is the technical platform and operating system for exhibitions developed by Expology AS.
See https://www.nr.no/en/projects/visitorengagement

Date: 1 June 2013

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Project log

Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology has developed a learning concept for school classes in science centres named "learning trails". In this concept, groups of students perform a series of thematically related experiments with installations in the science centre. The learning trails are designed to support the generic learning outcomes for science centre visits. We argue that the previously developed Engagement Profile can be used to translate exhibit properties into both media forms and generic learning outcomes for such learning concepts. Further, we implemented the learning trails in two modes: one mode used paper-based content to guide the students, while the other mode supported the use of tablet PCs where engaging content is triggered when the students approach the location of an experiment in the learning trail. We studied the engagement factors of the learning trails and observed how school classes use these. In a study with 113 students from lower secondary school (age 16), they answered short questionnaires that were integrated into the implementation of the learning trails. While the concept of the learning trails was evaluated positively, we could not find significant differences in how engaging the two implemented modes were.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
Many providers in adventure travel promote organised hiking and trekking tours. Such guided tours shall be engaging for the tourists and evoke positive attitudes towards enjoying nature. We present the Trekking Engagement Profile as a tool to evaluate engagement factors of such guided tours, based on engagement research performed in a different domain, namely evaluating engagement in museums and science centres. This tool shall strengthen the guides' soft skills and enable them to increase engagement during an ongoing arrangement. For instance, the Trekking Engagement Profile can be applied when tourists indicate that the quality of a guided tour is not entirely to their liking. We show the viability of using the Trekking Engagement Profile in a small study with guides and participants of trekking tours offered by the Norwegian Trekking Association. Further, we offer guidance and charts to promote its practical use.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
We report on an exploratory study conducted at a graduate school in Sweden with a humanoid robot, Baxter. First, we describe a list of potentially useful capabilities for a robot teaching assistant derived from brainstorming and interviews with faculty members, teachers, and students. These selected capabilities consist of reading, greeting, alerting, remote operation, clarification, and motion. Second, we present feedback on how the robot's capabilities, demonstrated in part with the Wizard of Oz approach, were perceived, and iteratively adapted over the course of several lectures, using the Engagement Profile tool. Third, we discuss observations and findings regarding the capabilities and the development process. Our findings suggest that using a social robot as a teaching assistant is promising using the chosen capabilities. We find that personalizing the capabilities and the role of embodiment are important topics to be considered in future work.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology have developed a learning concept for school classes in science centres named 'learning trails'. In this concept, groups of students perform a series of thematically related experiments with installations in the science centre. The learning trails are designed to support the generic learning outcomes for science centre visits. We argue for using the previously developed Engagement Profile in an indicator to determine both media forms and generic learning outcomes for such learning concepts. Further, we implemented the learning trails in two modes: one mode used paper-based content to guide the students, while the other mode supported the use of tablet PCs where engaging content is triggered when the students approach the location of an experiment in the learning trail. We studied the engagement factors of the learning trails and observed how school classes use these. In a study with 113 students from lower secondary school, they answered short questionnaires that were integrated into the implementation of the learning trails. While the concept of the learning trails was evaluated positively, we could not find significant differences in how engaging the two implemented modes were.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
Organised hiking and trekking tours are promoted by many providers in adventure travel. Such guided tours shall be engaging for the tourists and evoke positive attitudes towards enjoying nature. We present the Trekking Engagement Profile as a tool to evaluate engagement factors of such guided tours, based on engagement research performed in a different domain, namely evaluating engagement in museums and science centres. This tool shall strengthen guides' soft skills and enable them to increase engagement during an ongoing arrangement. For instance, the Trekking Engagement Profile can be applied when tourists indicate that the quality of a guided tour is not entirely to their liking. We show the viability of using the Trekking Engagement Profile in a small study with guides and participants of trekking tours offered by the Norwegian Trekking Association. Further, we offer guidance and charts to promote its practical use.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
We report on an exploratory study conducted at a graduate school in Sweden with a humanoid robot, Baxter. First, we describe a list of potentially useful capabilities for a robot teaching assistant derived from brainstorming and interviews with faculty members, teachers, and students. These capabilities consist of reading educational materials out loud, greeting, alerting, allowing remote operation, providing clarifications, and moving to carry out physical tasks. Secondly, we present feedback on how the robot's capabilities, demonstrated in part with the Wizard of Oz approach, were perceived, and iteratively adapted over the course of several lectures, using the Engagement Profile tool. Thirdly, we discuss observations regarding the capabilities and the development process. Our findings suggest that using a social robot as a teaching assistant is promising using the chosen capabilities and Engagement Profile tool. We find that enhancing the robot's autonomous capabilities and further investigating the role of embodiment are some important topics to be considered in future work.
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
Museums and Science Centres are informal education environments that intend to engage the visitors with their exhibitions. The installation ‘The Highway of the Seas’ in the exhibition Norway is the Sea is a game that teaches players the roles of people employed in shipping and tasks related to shipping from the perspective of a ship operator. We investigate the narrative elements of this installation, how to characterise these, and their impact on engagement. Using such characteristics, informed modifications that increase engagement can be made. Further, we compare aspects of ‘The Highway of the Seas’ with two other installations in a study and find that ‘The Highway of the Seas’ is the most engaging serious game of these three.
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
In a paper, we applied the engagement profile developed in the VisitorEngagement project to trekking arrangements organised by the Norwegian Trekking Association. This paper uses the engagement profile to show which elements can be used to make a trekking arrangement organised by the Norwegian Trekking Association more engaging. We also report the results from a study where we wanted to know which elements of a trekking arrangement could be changed, based on participants' experiences. As a conclusion from this study, they do not prefer competition elements and they want to leave decisions to the guide rather than making these decisions themselves.
This paper appeared in the journal Turleder'n, vol 34, no 3, pp 5-6, November 2017. Currently, it is only available in Norwegian. A paper in English about this subject is under development.
 
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
The presented chart shows the definitions in the engagement profile as a graphical chart. It can be used as a graphical guide in addition to the definition table for the Engagement Profile for exhibits. When evaluating an exhibit, set a cross to the value that fits the most for each of the eight dimensions. Consider which dimensions you want to increase or decrease (or ask your visitors). Then, discuss with designers how to implement such changes. The goal of this process will be more engaging exhibits.
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
We developed a graphical chart that makes it more intuitive to define the Engagement profile of an exhibit. Together with the definition table presented in our previous work, this graphical chart makes it easier to make an assessment of an exhibit.
 
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
The VisitorEngagement project has developed a practical approach to design engaging exhibits in science centres and museums. The approach includes the museum practitioner, the designer, and the visitor into the design process. We use the engagement profile as a tool to present the qualities of installations visually for the stakeholders. Visitors are included in the process by giving their opinion on a standardised questionnaire that consists of eight questions regarding the engagement profile and up to four questions about satisfaction; twelve questions in total, set aside demographics and such. The design process is designed to be comprehensible for practitioners, and the project is about to develop tools to support this process by using apps.
The details of the design process are described in the following publication: Wolfgang Leister, Ingvar Tjøstheim, Göran Joryd, Michel de Brisis, Syver Lauritzsen, Sigrun Reisæter: An Evaluation-Driven Design Process for Exhibitions." Multimodal Technologies Interact. 1, no. 4: 25. doi: 10.3390/mti1040025
The chart shown in the additional material of this project update shows the definitions in the engagement profile as a graphical chart. How does this work? When evaluating an exhibit, set a cross to the value that fits the most for each of the eight dimensions. Consider which dimensions you want to increase or decrease (or ask your visitors). Then, discuss with designers how to implement such changes. The goal of this process will be more engaging exhibits.
This approach has been developed by researchers from Norsk Regnesentral (Norwegian Computing Centre), the interaction designers from Expology, and the museum practitioners from Engineerium, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, and the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.
 
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
Museums and science centres are informal education environments that intend to engage visitors with their exhibits. We present an efficient design process that allows an improved working relationship between museum practitioners, exhibition designers, and visitors. Its principles and a graphical representation are based on the Engagement Profile from previous work. Curators and designers evaluate the qualities of exhibits using the engagement profile while visitors inform the design process by answering a standardised questionnaire. Elements of the design process were evaluated using an educational game at the science centre Engineerium. This study was based on the responses from over five hundred visitors to the science centre. As an outcome, the science centre received valuable information of how to improve the exhibit. Further, one iteration of the design process was implemented in practice. First experiences show that our method will practically support the work of museum practitioners and exhibition designers.
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
The project has developed a novel design process for exhibitions. This iterative design process takes the opinions of all three groups of stakeholders into account: the curators, the designers, and the visitor. The design process is evaluation-driven, which means that a so-called engagement profile is created for each iteration. The engagement profile is a graphical tool that shows the requirements and characteristics of the exhibits, as well as the opinion of the visitors along eight dimensions. An evaluation of the design process has been done at the science centre Engineerium with over five hundred visitors.
The design process and its evaluation is described in a preprint of a submitted article:
 
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
Museums and Science Centres are informal education environments that intend to engage the visitors with their exhibits. We present an efficient design process that allows an improved working relationship between museum practitioners, exhibition designers, and visitors. We present the principles and a graphical representation based on the Engagement Profile from previous work. Elements of the design process are evaluated using a learning game at the science centre Engineerium. The evaluation is based on a study with over five hundred visitors to the science centre. How to cite: Leister, W.; Tjøstheim, I.; Joryd, G.; de Brisis, M.; Lauritzsen, S.; Reisæter, S. An Evaluation-Driven Design Process for Exhibitions. Preprints 2017, 2017090004 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201709.0004.v1).
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
Results from the VisitorEngagement project will be presented by Claire McAree at the ECSITE conference, 15.-17. June, Porto, Portugal. See the entry for the session here: http://www.ecsite.eu/annual-conference/programme/behavioural-visitor-research-new-insights-learning
 
Wolfgang Leister
added a research item
We performed a user evaluation in a science centre to uncover the impact of emotion and enjoyment on the perceived Quality of Experience. In an evaluation with 60 students, we assessed data from the use of an installation and relate Positive And Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) scales and other subjective and objective data using the partial least square methodology. We present interpretations for how participants, winners, and losers of a quiz game in the science centre experience their visit.
Wolfgang Leister
added 2 research items
Science centres and museums struggle to measure how engaging specific installations are for visitors. We present a framework for assessing visitor engagement by using non-intrusive technologies. We present a profile for mapping out an installation over eight dimensions and how we created it. We also present techniques for performing assessments using the facial expressions of visitors and asking short, targeted questions to visitors. Combining these together results in a fast assessment that happens as a visitor interacts with an installation. We have performed evaluations of three different installations in three science centres: one looked at the role of competition in exhibits, one at ways to automate the assessment, and another at how altering components like narrative in an installation affects the assessment’s result. The assessment framework and classification method work in multiple installations and form the basis for a new tool for measuring engagement in a visitor centres and museums.
Currently, it is difficult to assess the engagement of visitors in science centres and museums for specific installations. We intend to measure how well individual installations work by using non-intrusive assessment technologies. This paper lays out the assessment framework for this goal. The article presents the Visitor Engagement Installation profile that characterises installations along six dimensions. An assessment framework that consists of four layers is presented and explained. First findings of the assessment of a selected installation are presented.
Wolfgang Leister
added an update
Interview with Haiko Kilkson and Göran Joryd in Spokes Magazine #21 on Designers & museum practitioners: Common ground"; follow link http://www.ecsite.eu/activities-and-services/news-and-publications/digital-spokes/issue-21#section=section-lookout&href=/feature/lookout/finding-common-ground-between-designers-and-museum-practitioners
 
Wolfgang Leister
added a project reference
Wolfgang Leister
added a project goal
The project VISITOR ENGAGEMENT will develop an innovative system that measures what engages visitors in science centres. The main objective of VISITOR ENGAGEMENT is to measure engagement, user experience in science centres and museums. This will be done by means of sensor and camera technology, and the registration of user behaviour in combination with short surveys. Data can be observed using sensor technology without storing personal information and without bothering the visitor. The visitor data will provide valuable information when they are entered into the Exhibition Management System (XMS). The XMS is the technical platform and operating system for exhibitions developed by Expology AS.