Silvia Filippini Fantoni, Antenna Audio Limited, United Kingdom
Jonathan Bowen, Museophile Limited, United Kingdom

Abstract[edit | edit source]

Over the past few years, many museums have launched multimedia projects (on PDAs, kiosks, and Web sites) that allow visitors to bookmark information of interest for later use. The bookmarked information can then be accessed via a series of links in an e-mail sent to the visitor at the end of his/her visit or via a personal page created on the museum's website, accessible to the visitor through a username and password.

The reasons why museums have introduced bookmarking in many of their online and on-site applications are numerous. Because repetition is key to retaining information over time, bookmarking may be a tool with strong educational potential. Bookmarking can in fact help visitors activate prior knowledge and pursue individual interests, which can boost their understanding, positive feelings toward the subject, and desire to learn more. Museums have also adopted bookmarking as a way to extend the visitor's experience beyond their visit to the physical site. When museum content is accessible at home, work, and elsewhere, visitors can focus more on experimentation and discovery while in the museum, leaving more traditional learning tasks such as reading and listening for later. Hence the "visitor experience" does not end in the museum but continues at home after the visit, creating a stronger relationship between the institution and the visitor.

Despite its potential to prolong the museum experience, build a stronger relationship with the visitor, and facilitate the learning process, there is still very little evidence that bookmarking actually works in the terms envisaged by its promoters. To help resolve this question, we will analyze examples of different online and onsite applications accompanied by a detailed investigation of usage statistics and evaluation results carried out in part by the authors and in part by museums. In particular, we will consider case studies from the Tate Modern, the J. P. Getty Museum, the London Science Museum, the Boston Museum of Science, the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, the Natural History Museum in London, etc.

See also[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.