I am presenting a poster at ALISE 2013 for a research project I have proposed. The poster and abstract are below:
In the last several years, cultural heritage institutions (museums, libraries, and archives) have begun to make use of mobile technology to reach new members and investigate the potential of mobile technology to add value to their educational offerings. However, little research has been completed that rigorously and comprehensively demonstrates how this technology can be used to advance the major goals of cultural heritage institutions, such as enhancing patron knowledge construction, historical understanding, engagement and inspiring lifelong learning. This research project will produce a set of best practices for how these goals can be promoted using mobile computing. These best practices will be derived from analyzing the response from focus groups to their use of mobile technology at the sites of five major New York City cultural institutions, including:
- American Museum of Natural History
- National September 11 Memorial and Museum
- The National Museum of the American Indian, New York (Smithsonian Institution)
- New York Public Library
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The insight from this completed project will culminate in a social-media enabled best practices online resource that can be used by cultural heritage professionals for informing the creation of future mobile projects.
The major activities of this two-year project include:
- Data Collection (April 2013-May 2014): 30 diverse individuals across all age groups will be recruited to participate in one of five focus groups. Each participant will use the mobile application on the site of a New York City cultural institution. After, the participant will attend a focus group at the Pratt Manhattan campus, where he or she will first fill-out a survey to uncover his or her thoughts regarding the experience, and then participate in a video-taped focus group session, moderated by the researcher. During the focus group, the researcher will facilitate a discussion about participant experiences, and the mobile application will be projected onto a large-screen so that concrete site features can be discussed in detail. Four months after completing the final focus group, participants will fill-out the 4-month-out survey to ascertain any lasting impact the experience had on them.
- Analysis (March 2014-July 2014): Focus group discussions will be transcribed, and the transcripts coded to uncover the insight into how mobile technology (in conjunction with related factors like social environment and physical space) enhanced knowledge construction, historical understanding, engagement and interest in being a lifelong learner. The researcher will analyze the responses, in conjunction with the survey results, and from this derive the set of best practices.
- Dissemination (August 2014-March 2015): Results of the analysis, and the best practices derived from the analysis, will be presented to managers of cultural heritage institutions via a comprehensive, openly accessible and attractive online resource. The results will be published in a LIS scholarly journal and the dataset preserved in an open-access and trustworthy data repository. Further, the PI will communicate the results at several professional conferences (ALA Annual, Museums and the Web, and WebWise).