March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sessions: Abstract

The On-line and the On-site Holocaust Museum Exhibition as an Informational Resource

Margaret Lincoln, Lakeview High School, USA

This paper reports on a study of a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum traveling exhibition, Life in Shadows: Hidden Children and the Holocaust, as an informational resource while the exhibition was on display at the Art Center of Battle Creek, Michigan in the fall of 2005. The objective of this mixed methods study was to better understand the informational value of a Holocaust Museum exhibition in its on-site vs. on-line format by converging quantitative and qualitative data. Using student responses to closed-ended questions on an on-line exhibition survey, an analysis of variance was performed to determine which scenario of a museum exhibition visit promotes the greatest content learning. Using student responses to open-ended questions on the same survey, data were analyzed to discover the impact on students of each scenario of a museum exhibition visit. By means of an empathy testing instrument, data were analyzed to determine any differences among student response according to the scenario of exhibition visit. Participants in the study included six eighth grade language arts classes who viewed various combinations of the on-site and on-line versions of Life in Shadows. The study's findings could have implications for teachers and museum educators, suggesting ways to effectively integrate technology in the classroom. Obtaining visitor feedback to the on-site and on-line versions of Life in Shadows could aid museum personnel in improving efforts at exhibit design and evaluation. Could the use of a museum Web site be considered an alternative or a supplement to an on-site museum visit?

Session: On-Line + On-Site [Design]

Keywords: Holocaust education, Holocaust museums, museum education, on-line exhibitions, on-line learning, virtual field trips