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Supporting Interest and Knowledge Exchange through Mobile Devices and Interest Trails in Informal Settings

Knowledge Exchange Lab


March 2006 - December 2009


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


Screenshots Museums possess a high potential for the propagation of knowledge due to the large number of visitors and their role as setting for informal learning. The realization of this potential, however, depends on interest and the resultant free-choice engagement of the visitor with the exhibition. We want to take a closer look at the role of interest in exhibitions: What makes exhibits interesting for visitors of museums for science and technology? How can interest be supported during the exhibition visit? How can we facilitate continuing engagement with the themes of the exhibits?

Screenshots To answer these questions we conduct studies regarding the support of interest and knowledge exchange through mobile devices and interest trails in informal settings. From March through June 2006 we conducted a laboratory study with the exhibition "Nanodialogue". The results were presented on conferences regarding mobile learning, pedagogical psychology and learning in museums. A second study was conducted in March and April 2007 in the Deutsches Museum, Bonn. The results were presented on conference regarding mobile learning, psychology and learning in museums. Further publications are currently in preparation.


  • Deutsches Museum Muenchen
  • Deutsches Museum Bonn


  • Wessel, D., Zahn, C., Hesse, F.W. (2008). Supporting Visitors’ Interest within and beyond the Museum with Mobile Media. Nordic Digital Excellence in Museums, 2008, Reykjavik, Iceland. URL:
  • Schwan, S., Zahn, C., Wessel, D., Huff, M., Herrmann, N., & Reussner, E. (2008). Lernen in Museen und Ausstellungen - die Rolle digitaler Medien. Unterrichtswissenschaft Zeitschrift für Lernforschung. Thema: Lernen im Museum, 36 (2), 117-135.
  • Wessel, D., & Mayr, E. (2007). Potentials & challenges of mobile media in museums. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 1 (1), 32-39. URL: