Museums and the Web 2005
Interactions: Description
Photo Credits

More than just papers, MW2005 offers a chance for dialogue.

Beyond Hits: Gauging Visitor Behavior at an On-line Manufacturing Exhibit

Leilah Lyons, University of Michigan, USA
Zbigniew Pasek, University of Michigan, USA

Mini-Workshop: Measurement

To extend its educational reach to the non-university population, the NSF Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (ERC/RMS) at the University of Michigan has invested in designing and developing a museum exhibit highlighting the principles of modern manufacturing (Kaynar, Pasek, & Lyons, 2004). Although primarily a physical exhibit in the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the ERC/RMS has produced an on-line version of the exhibit's educational game. We will discuss how we engineered the user data collection for the on-line version of this game, what the rationale was behind technology decisions, and what corresponding issues (technical and ethical) had to be considered in targeting certain types of data for collection. We will use the collected data in three ways: 1) to map the (self-reported) demographics of the on-line visitor population, 2) to determine potential interruption spots in the game-playing flow (to improve the game design), and 3) to assess how effectively the target concepts are communicated by the exhibit. Results collected from the exhibit's educational game are used to demonstrate the value of such analyses.