Learning Research

We conducted a comprehensive learning research study at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, MA to measure the effects of our exhibits. We recruited 250 visitors (ages 9 – 15) and randomly assigned pairs of visitors to one of four conditions. In the first two conditions the dyads spent 10 minutes interacting with different versions of our focal exhibit. In the third condition, they watched a 10-minute video about evolution and the Tree of Life. And, in the final condition, there was no exhibit interaction – this gave us our baseline measurement. We video recorded the study pairs who interacted with the exhibits. For all four conditions, we individually interviewed each child using a 52-item assessment consisting of both open and closed-ended questions.

Publications and Presentations:


News & Press
  • Best of CHI 2015 Best Paper Award: Proposed a novel Group Identification Algorithm in a dynamic visitor flow and engagement metrics for statistical analysis in interactive informal learning environments. Demonstrated effects of two typical study methodologies (pdf).
  • Coming soon! We are working on a digital Evolution Lab with the WGBH/NOVA Labs team.
  • PBS NOVA Engaging Science blog
  • Live Showcase of BATand paper presentation at Games, Learning and Society 2014 (watch video...)
  • Seeing Science: Biomedical Computation Review writes about the DeepTree. (read more...)
  • Harvard Gazette:: The watchword is innovation (read more...)
  • SEAS News Release: Museum exhibit developed at SEAS puts evolution at visitors’ fingertips (read more...)