Does informal learning benefit from interactivity? The effect of trial and error on knowledge acquisition during a museum visit

Abstract. Informal learning settings, such as museums and cultural heritage locations, have employed interactive mobile applications. Educators and museum curators recognise the value of interactivity, but the optimum level of interactivity in informal learning remains unclear. We developed an informal learning activity with quiz questions about art theory, which we integrated in a between–groups experimental design with three groups of high–school students at an art gallery. Each of the three groups received a different treatment: (a) an interactive mobile–based learning activity, (b) a paper–based version of the same learning activity, and (c) a self–guided museum tour. Students who enrolled with the interactive version showed higher performance in the post–assessment test when compared to the paper–based version. Notably, the benefits of the interactive version are attributed to the immediate feedback of the quiz application during the visit. Further research should perform similar controlled experiments in order to assess the learning benefit of more immersive interactive systems, such as three–dimensional graphics and augmented reality.

Direct Link