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Peer-reviewed article

A Design-Based Research Study of Staff-Facilitated Family Learning at Interactive Math Exhibits

December 18, 2017 | Public Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Exhibitions
Staff facilitators in museums and science centers are a critical but often overlooked component of the visitor experience. Despite assertions about the important role they play in visitor learning, there continues to be almost no research to understand staff facilitation in these settings or identify effective practices. To address these gaps, we conducted a design-based research study to describe the work of experienced museum educators and iteratively refine a model of staff facilitation to support family learning at interactive math exhibits developed through a prior project. The resulting facilitation model identifies three visitor experience goals, outlines the cycle of responsive facilitation (observe, support, reflect) that educators used to support these goals, and highlights the physical, personal, and sociocultural factors that appeared to influence the nature and outcomes of the interactions. The model provides empirical support to guide professional development for museum educators and suggests future directions for visitor studies research.


  • 2013 06 21 IMG 0768
    Institute for Learning Innovation
  • 2013 11 06 Scott Randol
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • REVISE logo
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • 2013 05 24 Brazil July 2006 me no graph
  • IVEL
    Fleet Science Center
  • Elizabeth Andanen
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Crosby Bromley
    Salem-Keizer School District
  • Smirla Ramos Montanez
    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • 2013 11 21 Dierking photo
    Oregon State University
  • Citation

    Publication Name: Visitor Studies
    Volume: 20
    Number: 2
    Page Number: 138-164


    Funding Program: AISL
    Award Number: 1321666
    Funding Amount: $866,793.00
    Resource Type: Research Products | Evaluation Reports
    Discipline: Education and learning science | Mathematics
    Audience: Families | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
    Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Professional Development and Workshops | Museum and Science Center Exhibits

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