Individual and Collaborative Personalization in a Science Museum

  • Betsy van Dijk
  • Andreas Lingnau
  • Geert Vissers
  • Hub Kockelkorn
Part of the Gaming Media and Social Effects book series (GMSE)


Museums increasingly use interactive technologies to make a museum visit more rewarding. In this chapter, we present opportunities that tabletop environments offer for learning, enjoyment, motivation, collaboration and playful interaction in museums. We discuss experiments with a tabletop interface in a popular science museum. This museum is an open space where visitors walk around and interact with exhibits in various ways. We integrated a tabletop application in the existing museum context that allowed visitors, mostly children, to plan and personalize their visit in a playful way. Personalization was either done individually, in a pilot experiment, or in a small group, in the main experiment. The question to be answered was whether children who follow a personalized route through the museum enjoy the experience more, are more motivated, learn more, and are more collaborative than children who follow a route that was not personalized, individually or collaboratively. We did not find many differences between experimental conditions (personalized versus nonpersonalized groups) on enjoyment and collaboration, possibly due to the fact that our research setting resembled “in the wild” studies more than classical experiments. However, in one experiment we found a learning effect of personalization. Overall, scores on the enjoyment measures were high and the experiments gave rise to engaged behavior and playful interaction. We discuss implications of our work for the study of collaborative learning in tabletop environments.


Personalization Collaboration Enjoyment Playfulness Tabletop Museum 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under grant agreement n° 231507 and from the Pieken in de Delta project (number PID092064) SEA (Smart Experience Actuator).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betsy van Dijk
    • 1
  • Andreas Lingnau
    • 2
  • Geert Vissers
    • 3
  • Hub Kockelkorn
    • 4
  1. 1.Human Media InteractionUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Computer and Information ScienceUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowScotland
  3. 3.InnoTePNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.MuseonThe HagueThe Netherlands

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