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Collaborative Media Design Tasks for Promoting Explorative Behavior and Cognitive Elaboration in the Museum

Knowledge Exchange Lab


October 2006 - December 2008


Funded by the Leibniz Association as part of the "Pact for Research and Innovation".


Pupils in a museumThis projects aimed to explore how media design tasks may foster learning activities during and after museum visits. The typical behavior shown by student groups visiting a museum is characterized by frequent but very brief engagement with objects and a strong disregard for written information. These unfavorable conditions for learning may be improved by assigning a collaborative media task in which students are to first take pictures and then design a presentation for class. It was expected that such a task helps to increase motivation as well as time spent with individual objects and related information. According to the "genre as cognitive strategy"-hypothesis by Klein (1999) and the "Knowledge Telling vs. Transforming"-model by Bereiter and Scardamalia (1987), creating a presentation may foster deeper processing of this information. Furthermore, collaboration in pairs promotes learning activities such as explanation, argumentation and elaboration, and will therefore contribute to better learning outcomes. A first pilot study in december 2007 examined the outcomes of this media design task with a variety of different school groups and exhibitions in a museum. A second study focused on the role of the target format of the presentation, taking into account genre (story-telling vs. instruction) and representational features (relation of image to text box size).


  • Deutsches Museum Muenchen


Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan Prof. Dr. Stephan Schwan
Tel.: +49 7071 979-228

Project team

Lars Kobbe