Characteristics Of Museum Exhibit Learning Objects In The 21st Century

Sonya Waterhouse


In contrast to traditional museum exhibits, a growing trend for visitors is to engage in interactive and immersive experiences. In the 21st Century, many museums engage in online exhibitions where two and three dimensional digital artifacts convey the ideas and knowledge of the curator. Research in this area has revealed how visitors gain new knowledge and experience through learning theories of passive and incremental knowledge versus active learning constructs incorporated by museums. The purpose of this literature review is to examine how 21st century museum exhibits evolved from historical/aesthetic representations into interactive and immersive learning objects using cognitive load and constructivist theories. Findings indicate that many museums appear unwilling or unable to evolve or adapt to the digital model and appear to prioritize the delivery of information versus pursuing popular venues that could increase revenues from high-profile exhibitions. Additional research is needed to determine the reasons preventing museums from adopting or moving toward change implementing a truly interactive and immersive experience for visitors.


Museums; Education; Technology

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