Small Group Learning with Games in Museums: Effects of Interactivity as Mediated by Cultural Differences

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


ACM Interaction Design and Children, ACM Press, Medford, MA (2015)


<p>Museums are rich and complex learning experiences, using a variety of interactive approaches to engage their audiences. However, the largely unstructured nature of free-choice learning calls for alternative approaches that can effectively engage groups of school age students with diverse cultural backgrounds. In this paper, we present our findings from a recent study in a museum in Greece, where triads of stu-dents had to learn about olive oil production using a game enabling different levels of interactivity and collaboration. We found that facilitation by an expert guide led to greater learning gains as compared to students playing alone, with one or three simultaneous game controllers. We also com-pared these results with a previous controlled experiment conducted in the US with middle school students, using the same game but without the ecologically valid facilitation. Drawing ideas from sociocultural and cognitive theories we interpret the contradictory findings, identifying the impact of culture on their (social) interactions, their subjective game experience, and eventually learning, in these spaces.</p>