Writing a conference abstract #TBT

TL group 1

ASTEN 2017, Canberra

Just when you thought you couldn’t find anything older, up pops this gem from the past – tips about how to write a conference abstract. This was published as a resource when we used to run UNCOVER – the conference for graduate and post-graduate students to give them a platform to present their work in a supportive space. Many fond memories there.

So for today’s #throwbackthursday post thought I’d publish this warts and all as, although rather quaint, is still pretty relevant.


When answering a call for papers a number of factors need to be kept in mind to ensure that your abstract has a good chance of being accepted.

Ensure that your ideas are well thought out and follow a logical, coherent flow:

  • state the issue to be discussed
  • give a brief background to the issue
  • brief description of what you are doing about it
  • implications/outcomes: why is what you’ve done important?

Ensure that the abstract relates to the conference theme:

  • in a ‘real’ and not contrived way: if it doesn’t fit then don’t submit
  • an interesting and catchy title helps:
    • but make sure it’s not too ‘clever’ or obscure.

Ensure that practical aspects of the abstract comply with requirements:

  • it meets or is under the specified word length
  • is typed in the specified font type, size
  • spacing and setting out are correct
  • if no guidelines are given then a standard format is usually:
    • 200-250 words
    • Times 12pt font
    • 5 line spacing and centred on the page.

Limit amount of references cited in abstract:

  • use only if essential to support your argument
  • detailed references can be covered in the resulting presentation/paper.

Look at past abstracts/conference papers to pick up the tone and style of that particular organisation’s conferences.

Run your abstract past someone familiar with both the topic you wish to present and the conference style: such as a university lecturer, work colleague, member of professional society, someone who has presented before at the conference.

Submit on or before the due date and in the required way:

  • electronically, via e-mail, is usually preferred
  • ensure computer compatibility of documents (especially in converting Macintosh to IBM formats
  • saving in ‘Rich Text Format’ in Word is better (*.rtf)
  • not all are able to access documents in html formats easily – stick to established word processing programs such as Word.

Ensure you include your name, title, organisation and contact details, including phone, fax, street address and e-mail.

Finally, remember that your abstract serves two purposes:

  • to interest and intrigue the committee so they will select it
  • to introduce/outline your topic for the conference handbook – so it needs to standalone as a record of your presentation.

Lynda Kelly, Head, Australian Museum Audience Research Centre, 1 February, 2002


There you have it – except, no fax number required! But, for more up-to-date tips and ideas check these out:

And, keep an eye out for the MGA2019 Conference call for papers, coming soon!

Are we asking the right question(s)? #COMPASSconference Day One reflections

COMPASS_WebBanner_960x380_v1Attending the NSF-funded Conference on Mobile Position Awareness Systems and Solutions (COMPASS) at the Exploratorium. Yesterday was jam-packed with presentations from a range of digital folks, researchers, industry-types and various others.

There were a few take-away highlights for me:

  • Research is showing the visitors don’t necessarily want a mobile app, yet almost 100% of them will bring their mobile device with them (refer research by Frankly Green and Webb, via @davepatten), and my own synthesis of data prepared last year for Explo: Kelly apps presso for Explo
  • We have been doing this for a long time (via the terrific timeline prepared by Claire and added to by delegates), but have we really learned and moved on from these past experiences? [And here’s my rather poor attempt at capturing the timeline, ignore the last bit where I couldn’t figure out how to stop filming!]
  • “Takeaway from day 1 of #COMPASSconference: Museums need a mind shift from location-aware tech (dynamic wayfinding, etc) to *context-aware* solutions. Context is more than physical position; involves affective, sensory, cognitive factors. ✅human-centered, not tech-centered, design” @meowius (Annelisa Stephan)
  • ‘I want a mobile app that does everything’, but have you asked your visitors what they want from their museum experience? Or read any research?
  • “Mass personalisation can also mean mass isolation” @hburgund, and mass overload
  • Why not think about developing museum mobile apps more along the lines of conference apps, which are particularly great at scheduling, tagging content / areas of interest, program updates, floor plans, social / networking?
  • Geometric fingerprinting application to tracking and timing studies has real potential, but as Theano Moussouri alluded to there are many subtleties of the visit that the human eye will pick up that technology won’t, such as social behaviour, non-verbal communication. Lesson here? Triangulation.

The break-out question we looked at was How does mobile enhance the visitor experience? Despite some great discussions I came away feeling that we couldn’t really give any new or exciting applications of the technology, apart from the obvious (wayfinding, enhanced content, making connections, recommendations, deeper engagement, etc etc). Except for accessibility. Loved the work presented by @desigonz around turn-by-turn navigation for the blind at the Cognitive Assistance Lab (NavCog), and the Warhol Museum’s Out Loud project, specifically:

We are committed to building an audio guide experience not just for community members with visual impairments, but with them as well. In our design process, we’ve worked closely with consultants with varying degrees of blindness. We talked to our partners even before we drew a single wireframe, exploring what makes a great museum experience and how they use technology.

I’m always drawn to the tweet that has the most traction (i.e. likes and comments). This one, I wrote right at the end of the day seemed to have resonance:

Tweet 1

I especially liked this reply from @RichardHGerrad, Toronto:

Tweet 2

So, I’m now beginning to think that we are asking the wrong question. Rather than how could mobile enhance the visitor experience, try asking ourselves:

What are the elements of a great visitor experience across all aspects of the visit (including pre- and post-), and then where is mobile (or more broadly, digital) best placed to enhance experiences / meet visitors needs in conjunction with other modes of interpretation (including the human element)?

And instead of trying to ‘curate’ an experience via a mobile app, encourage more activity on social and leave it up to visitors as to how they want to use their devices onsite, especially as the research Dave reported found that visitors mostly used their phones to “… record and share via photos and social media and to keep up with unrelated information such as emails”?

Here’s the Day One tweets on Wakelet (mostly me I’m afraid!), and feel free to follow along today #COMPASSconference.

Digital labels reboot #TBT (and the #COMPASSConference too!)

sarah angus

Framework for Digital Label Evaluation c. Sarah Angus

Yes, it’s been a long time between #throwbackthursday posts, but was inspired this week by some twitter flurry about some fascinating work undertaken at the National Museums of Scotland (NMS): Data-led design: using visitor behaviour to inform touchscreen content (and, anything with data-led in the title is bound to grab my attention!).

Their findings are complementary to some work at Te Papa (New Zealand) who published a nice and useful set of findings from their study How your behaviour has changed the way we make digital exhibition labels:

  • Larger objects on the screen more likely to be read
  • Not all visitors will use a touchscreen
  • Visitors use the touchscreen for up to two minutes
  • Use the technology for what’s it’s good for – for example zooming in
  • Visitors will choose their own pathways, so don’t try and be too prescriptive or linear, although the NMS data did show that visitors follow a linear path to some degree

These findings complement years of research around how important choice is in learning, for example:

Key factors that support an individual’s learning are being able to choose both what they want to do and how they access information, especially in informal settings such as museums. Dewey (1916) recognised that education was not about ‘being told’ or ‘telling others’, but an active construction by the learner. Park (1994) found that 89% of those surveyed in the United Kingdom agreed with the statement People get more out of learning that they have chosen to do than they get from learning they are made to do. Griffin (1998) demonstrated that school children visiting a museum were well-able to be self-directed learners, and consistently declared their satisfaction with museum visits that provided them with choices (Kelly, 2006).

On a slightly different note is a paper given at the Human Computer Interaction conference, asked the question Digital Exhibit Labels: Enhancement or Distraction for Museum Visitors?, where a “team of learning scientists and computer scientists collaborated with museum curators to analyse the role of digital display technology in visitor learning in a collections-based exhibit”. The resulting paper can be downloaded here: Digital Exhibit Labels in Museums: Promoting Visitor Engagement with Cultural Artifacts.

There’s also some interesting work and literature reviews from work undertaken by Sarah Angus for the Australian National Maritime Museum: Digital labels: case studies, research, implementation.

Finally, the idea around checking in with floor staff about findings (NMS) is a great one – but comes with some caution, as this earlier #TBT demonstrates: Great Expectations: Do Museums Know What Visitors Are Doing? The lesson here being that a wide range of data sets need to be used in order to draw conclusions  but I guess we all know that…

This topic is particularly relevant as we prepare to launch into the COMPASS conference at the Exploratorium – two days of insights and learning about mobile, location-based technology, looking at the current state of play and where are we headed. Follow along on Twitter #COMPASSconference.

Oh, and while it’s Wednesday here in San Fran, it’s technically Thursday in Australia so I think I can get away with it!


  • Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. New York: Macmillan.
  • Griffin, J. (1998). School-Museum Integrated Learning Experiences in Science: A Learning Journey. Unpublished PhD, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Kelly, L. 2006. Understanding Museum Learning from the Visitor’s Perspective. Unpublished PhD, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Park, A. (1994). Individual commitment to lifelong learning: individuals’ attitudes: report on the quantitative phase. Research series No. 32. Sheffield: Employment Department.
  • Roberts, J., Banerjee, A., Hong, A., McGee, S., Horn, M. and Matcuk, M. (2018). Digital Exhibit Labels in Museums: Promoting Visitor Engagement with Cultural Artifacts. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paper No. 623.

Fun, learning and “The Playful Museum”

Skeletons Visit the museum

Skeletons can have fun in museums too!

Who doesn’t like fun, play and laughter? Aussies certainly do, after all it was a drunken Aussie invented the word selfie and our current Bachelor is a rugby player / sometime comedian called the “Honey Badger” (and we don’t even have badgers in Australia!).

We do know that fun is inextricably linked to learning. Investigating the concepts of learning, education and entertainment in my doctoral study (Kelly, 2007) I found that:

Museums have a strong learning focus, with the educational role being one way to deliver museum learning, and entertainment representing the enjoyment, fun, leisure, emotional and sensory aspects of a museum visit.

As one of my study subjects said when talking about learning in museums: … now I’m older I can choose [what I learn] and there’s no really pressure and that’s why it’s fun.” Coupled with this, Janette Griffin’s research found that “Visitors interviewed in the museum were more likely to consider photos of people having fun as learning [and] Children declared that learning and enjoyment went together when it was fun, they had choice and they were with friends or family” (2004, p.S64).

With that in mind it is very exciting the the theme of MuseumNext Sydney is The Playful Museum, looking at the following questions:

  • How are museums creating playful visitor experiences?
  • How can our collections be used in playful new ways?
  • How can we use play as a tool for engagement?
  • How can we use play in our exhibition development processes?
  • How can we encourage adults to visit using playful experiences?
  • How do we measure the success of play in museums?
  • How do we offer playful experiences for children?
  • How can computer games, apps and digital play enhance museums?

But, you’d better hurry as the Call For Papers closes in a few days, so dust off those funny anecdotes, get your act together and submit.

We’d love to see you in Sydney!


Reflections on the #MGAConf2018 for Audience Research and Evaluation


2018 conf image

@feraldata #meetday2108

By Abbie McPhie, Audience Research Manager, National Museum of Australia

As the new Audience Research Manager at the National Museum of Australia and being (relatively) new to working in the museums sector, the MGA 2018 conference and the MEET day held prior to the conference represented a significant opportunity for me to reflect on the issues impacting the sector and what these mean for audience research and evaluation.

A few common themes stand out, and pose some questions for the industry:

  • We need to understand who is not currently attending our institutions, and why. Are they being excluded from our institutions in some way? In what ways? And why does our content appeal to our current audience – might this partially explain why it doesn’t appeal to, or even actively excludes, other audiences.
  • For smaller museums and galleries, audience research is front and centre as they receive feedback directly and often, and can see the immediate impact of changes made on the basis of this feedback. For larger institutions, budgets will usually allow for some form of audience research and evaluation (even if this isn’t always done!). But for mid-sized organisations (under 100,000 visitors / under 50 staff), audience research and evaluation is often unable to be budgeted and not front and centre in day to day work. How do we support mid-sized museums and galleries in understanding their audiences and measuring success.
  • And finally, there are still a number of institutions and museum professionals for whom measuring success is in itself still a new concept – how do we support the introduction of a culture of evaluation throughout the industry?

I have a few immediate thoughts: getting institutions in the habit of understanding what their objectives are in any given piece of work (the ‘why’ factor) will help with understanding how to measure their success, and example template visitor surveys could be developed that would help those who are unsure where to start. But I’d also welcome your thoughts on this – please leave your comments below or contact me on abbie.mcphie@nma.gov.au.

[Note: Abbie was the recipient of the Evaluation and Visitor Research National Network 2018 conference bursary – thanks for the post!]

‘Ten things for my museum colleagues working in digital’: a response #MGAConf2018 #musetech @sebchan

Chairing the digital trends session at the recent #MGAConf2018 and listening to Seb’s 10 provocations got me thinking. And since Seb was interested in my response, here goes (at least for those I have opinions on).

2. You need to stop comparing your museum to a US museum.

We are delivering to an increasingly international audience – tourists visiting Australia or locals that have travelled and have been to the big ‘uns, whether in US, UK, Europe or, increasingly, Asia. As many museums audience researchers will tell you over the years we are finding audiences comparing what they’re seeing in Australia to what they have visited overseas, so in that sense we do need to compare, yet we do need to be different. I realise this point was in the context of issues other than visitors but still worth reminding ourselves that our “competition”, for want of a better word, includes overseas institutions, so naturally some of their conversations are our conversations.

3. You almost certainly can’t afford the digital unicorns.

No, but you could find new ways to work with these unicorns and tap into their expertise through partnerships (think Google Cultural Institute) or co-working spaces (think ACMI-X, DX Lab, Science Museum’s Digital Lab, etc). Tech companies want content, and guess what, we have that in spades.

4. Your most successful digital initiatives are marketing campaigns.

So why is the relationship between digital teams and marketing teams still so fractured?

5. An app still won’t save you although it might make your board happy for another quarter.

Well, maybe an app won’t save you, but what it will do is give you some digital skills:

  • Working with external vendors
  • Thinking about audience, user-testing, etc
  • Writing content for mobile
  • Working with different platforms and digital tools
  • Working as a team
  • Working out ways to re-purpose content, use objects in a different way, etc
  • How to roll-out and market a digital product

So, while an app these days may be seen as a ‘vanity’ project with little reach, use it as a learning opportunity. After all, how many exhibitions we develop are the same?

6.-8. Privacy etc

I’m not even going to go there, only to say that issues around copyright and IP are not excuses to “do nothing”.

9. Digitisation is not the solution, it’s just a new set of problems.

See point 5 (kinda).

10. What’s your institutional capacity building strategy?

Yes, let’s all have one of these, but in the absence find ways to take small steps and build capacity from the ground-up, especially if the upper echelons are still having the “physical vs. digital debate”. Some good ideas emerged from the #GettingDigitalDone session at the conference and if you’d like to sign up to that group for more sharing go here (and yes, we are gathering your email address, we are complicit, but you’re either part of the conversation and learning, or you’re not).

Thanks Seb, always a pleasure to see what you’re up to and where you’re thinking is and look forward to more when we next meet – at the COMPASS conference (Conference on Mobile Position Awareness Systems and Solutions) in San Francisco I believe (and a shameless plug here!).

#MEETDAY2018 – an event not to miss!


We welcome all species to #MEETDAY2018!

So, I know that you are:

  • Wanting to know how to create a 360 video easily 
  • Interested in how to co-design 
  • Dying to find out what’s happening in the education, evaluation and tech fields across the cultural sector 
  • Keen to hear Genevieve Bell in an intimate setting 
  • Interested in networking √

So, #MEETDAY2018 is for you! And, conveniently, just the day before the #MGA2018 conference.

To view the program and activities go to the #MEETDAY2018 website. We have an exciting group of lightning talks so far from museums, galleries and academia as follows:

  • Using feedback to create a successful digital excursion (MoAD)
  • Re-imagining the little Leaellynasaura polar dinosaur: a co-creative tactile Mixed Reality museum experience (Deakin University)
  • Testing audience response to increasing temporary exhibition prices (NMA)
  • Deepening engagement with students (MCA)
  • Educators as curators of student learning (University of Melbourne)
  • Big ideas, little people and craft: PlayUP (MoAD)
  • “This is our voice” – inviting visitor voices into learning programs (MAAS)

Go to the links below to book your place (and once you have added your order to your cart, please go up to the top menu to check out – just some helpful advice!):

If you have any questions please contact me as the EVRNN Convenor: evrnnma@gmail.com

See you there – it’s gonna be great!

If the museum was a person #TBT


The pop-up museum

Gotta love the web. Just when you’re in the thick of something up pops a gem from the past that causes you to stop, think and reflect. For this #throwbackthursday post I came across some work we did back in 2008 with students asking them to describe the museum as a person. As usual, when working with young people their responses are not only insightful, but cute and hilarious at the same time! I was working at the Australian Museum then, so their answers very much reflect their thoughts within the context of a natural history museum, but they also give a whole lot more.

So, here we go – If the museum was a person:

  • If the Museum were a person, it would have been around 200 years old. Also it would have huge brain containing all of the evidence about dinosaurs and animals. This person would have a huge heart because it also helps people discover or learn something they haven’t seen or heard before. It is a female, because not everything smart can be a man. It tells us about things we didn’t know existed.
  • It would be an historian because it’s mainly about things from many years ago.
  • It would be a very nice person and smart to tell people about the world and it is very old.
  • If the Museum were a person it would be wise and know a lot about the past. It would be an outgoing person because it always lets people in.
  • It will be a famous kind because the museum is famous and it is a bit like a castle because of its shape. He is a good actor because the museum has a lot of different things. He knows a lot of information because the Museum is full of information.
  • I think if the museum was a person he/she would be old and full of knowledge. I think this, because of all the exhibits in the museum are full of the knowledge and the museum looks very old.
  • If the Museum was a person it would be a palaeontologist because the museum is full of dinosaurs.
  • Old Grandpa. Knows a lot about history and what happened around the world. Nice, funny and smart.
  • Smart, interesting, lots of stories to tell. Funny, bad at sport. Nice
  • It would be a very knowledgeable person, because it has loads of information about the past.
  • I think it would be a massive brick monster because it is huge and has a lot of bricks in the building. But it tells a lot of stories.

The original post appeared on my old (and first!) blog- The Audience Research blog.

Other readings on student learning in museums

  • Kelly, L. (2013). 21st Century Learning – A Students’ Perspective.
  • Kelly, L. (2014). Student learning in museums – what do we know?
  • Kelly, L. and Fitzgerald, P. (2011). Cooperation, collaboration, challenge: how to work with the changing nature of educational audiences in museums. In Rethinking Educational Practice Through Reflexive Inquiry. Ed. N. Mockler and J. Sachs. 77-88. Springer: London.
  • Kelly, L. and Groundwater-Smith, S. (2009). Revisioning the Physical and On-line Museum: A Partnership with the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools. Journal of Museum Education. 34(4), 55-68.
  • Kelly L. and Russo, A. (2010). From Communities of Practice to Value Networks: Engaging Museums in Web 2.0. In Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums. Ed. F. Cameron and L. Kelly 281-298. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: London.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. (2002). Evidence Based Practice in School Education. Paper presented at the Why Learning? Seminar. Australian Museum.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S. and Kelly, L. (2009). Learning outside the classroom: A partnership with a difference. In Connecting Inquiry and Professional Learning in Education. Ed. A. Campbell and S. Groundwater-Smith. 179-191. London: Routledge.

#MEETDAY2018 #MGA2018

Created with Nokia Smart CamMEET is the annual gathering of educators, evaluators and technologists working across the cultural sector, held in conjunction with the MGA conference. The 2018 MEETDAY will be held on Monday 4 June, 9.30-5pm at the National Sports Museum, Melbourne Cricket Ground, with a morning session of keynote speaker and lightning talks, followed by an optional afternoon session of workshops and other goodies.

MEET 2018The overall theme of the day is making connections, and each Network is focusing on one of the other conference sub-themes:

  • Education – breaking barriers
  • Evaluation – championing innovation
  • Technology – places of engagement


Registration from 9am for 9.30am start

9.30 Welcome and introduction to MEET

9.35-10.15 Keynote Speaker Professor Genevieve Bell, ANU (includes question time)

Knowing our audience, knowing our tools and guiding our communities: given the current pace of change, how are we going to shape our future within the contexts of evaluation, technology and education?

10.15 Morning tea (provided)

10.45 Lightning Talks

There will around nine Lightning Talks – three from each Network. If you would like to propose a talk, complete this form by Monday 9 April. Please note that submission doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance.

12.00 Panel / wrap-up / Q&A

12.30 Lunch (provided, including tours of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the opportunity to visit the National Sports Museum)

2.00-5.00 Optional afternoon workshops:

  1. 2-3pm Easy 360 video creation – make your own 360 video in one hour! Jonny Brownbill, Museum Victoria
  2. 3-4pm Co-design – what it is and how to do it: case studies from the field Lynda Kelly, LyndaKellyNetworks / Andrew Hiskens and Linda Angeloni, State Library Victoria
  3. 4-5pm Voice to text chat interfaces – how can they be used in our institutions? Jonny Brownbill, Museum Victoria

Tours of National Sports Museum will run through the afternoon. There is a café downstairs for those who just want to chat.


To cover fees and expenses, we have priced MEET 2018 at:

  • $125 for MGA conference attendees
  • $150 non-conference attendees

If you have registered for the MGA conference go here to register and pay

If you are only attending MEETDAY go here to register and pay


  • Contact Dr Lynda Kelly, Convenor, Evaluation and Visitor Research National Network, evrnnma@gmail.com
  • Updates will be provided on the MEET website
  • Follow us on Twitter: #MEETDAY2018
  • And, go here to propose a Lightning Talk


NSM logo

MEETDAY2018 is supported by the National Sports Museum


Transformative Learning in #STEM at #ASTEN2017

TL group 1As part of the ASTEN conference in October, 2017, we had a session devoted to (you guessed it!) Transformative Learning (TL) with a focus on STEM. This post summarises the outcomes of the workshop, giving a science flavour to our discussion so far on TL.

At the beginning of the session, participants completed a feedback form asking them to describe a TL experience, then to tease out indicators they look for when visitors are having a TL experience – similar to the work we did with teachers and staff at MoAD.

As ASTEN participants are primarily based in science communication and science learning, their take on TL addressed mostly science experiences, with some synergies with the literature review of TL and STEM.

A TL STEM experience – some examples

  • The first time I saw a Bernoulli Blower exhibit in my first visit to a science centre.
  • Attending the Milan Furniture Fair and learning about European design / manufacturing … engaging with a manufacturer to develop one of my designs / products … innovative product recognised, feelings of empowerment, change, recognition.
  • Finally working out how an Archimedes screw worked … felt very much an “aha” moment when I could see exactly how it worked, and that I could make one.
  • First visit to Exploratorium, SF. Late in the afternoon, ran out of time. Lost track of my children because I was so busy, last to leave.
  • Making a water heater in our Maker Space – the heat lamp melted the tubing, water went everywhere but helped show me why hands-on is so important when forming ideas.
  • Primary school visit to Questacon – hands-on activities, I remember quite clearly visiting. One of the few excursion memories that I have.
  • Learning about air pressure and that vacuum cleaners don’t suck; the air is pushed into a space of low pressure. Changed the way I understand physics – helped with cleaning! – but the experience gave me a mindset to stop, step back, observe and see if I could explain phenomena differently.
  • Presenting shows and workshops. Became aware of how the presentation style and language used allows for an engaging, transformative experience. Learned how important story-telling was to communicate an idea.
  • Te Papa Bug Lab. Totally changed the way I saw and valued the physical / sculptural environment to immerse people in a completely unfamiliar world. WETA workshop expertise transformed an often icky topic (insects) into a magical wonderland where the humans were smaller than the bugs. Interactivity, conversation, innovation and mood creation deepened the experience for visitors of all ages.
  • Following the Copenhagen conference on climate was really influential. At the time I was working in science and really believed that in time science would steer the conversations – seeing the interplay between science, politics and culture during that time was powerful.
  • Time with a major Architect discussing informally the practice of how it connected to all the disciplines.
  • Learning the history of computer development and realising it was aligned with war (Computer History Museum, 2015). Felt shocked, looked around to see if others were experiencing the same thing.
  • Experiencing the southern night skies at Tekapo, NZ.
  • New job – steep learning curve.
  • When I was 3-4 years old visiting Queensland Museum and the turtle diorama had an interactive component (still does!), where you touched eggs o feel different temps to understand role t has in determining sex.

Indicators of a TL experience

From the feedback forms the following indicators were mentioned:

  • Making connections – cognitive, social/personal, identity, physical
  • Link it to their lives or translate into their life experiences
  • Change in behaviours or attitudes
  • Emotive response
  • Engagement – a ‘light bulb’ moment
  • “Ow wow!” – when you hear children calling out
  • Smiling, ‘wonderment’ on face, facial emotions
  • Having fun and engaging / interacting with objects
  • Noises of struggle but continued persistence
  • Lose track of time
  • Increase in dwell time
  • Focussed, moving slowly through a gallery space
  • Excitement
  • Exclamations – “that’s cool”, “come and look at this”, “I hadn’t thought of that”, “wow”
  • Anger at information presented – views and beliefs being challenged, shock
  • Open body language
  • Taking photos
  • Conversations, sharing experiences at the time or post-visit
  • Telling someone else about the changes
  • When a child and family are working together intensely at an exhibit, kids want to show parents, adult/child interaction
  • Test new learning in real life
  • Asking questions to further understand concepts
  • Come back for more

In the group report-back session we classified the indicators into a series of categories –  cognitive, behavioural, cognitive, emotional and social – as in the images below.

Thanks for participating in the session and I think we teased out some really good ideas, with some new and different takes on the subject, complementing the outcomes from the MoAD staff workshop and Canberra/ACT-based teachers.