The Oregon Sea Grant’s Free-Choice Learning (FCL) Laboratory is situated at Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), an Oregon State University marine science research facility housing a Visitor Center that functions as a living laboratory for studying self-paced, leisure-time lifelong learning. FCL is the most common type of lifelong learning. It refers to self-sought learning activities that often take place outside classrooms, guided by the needs and interests of the learner. Our FCL lab is invested in studying how people learn through these activities and inform better educational practices in informal science education venues. The National Science Foundation has funded the installation of a research infrastructure within the Visitor Center, using emergent technologies to study behavior, capture responses and adapt content to visitor needs. The “Cyberlaboratory” was established to exploit emerging technologies in a museum setting and across related learning contexts to explore methods for researching cyberlearning - the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. The basic premise underlying the cyberlab is that in order to support cyberlearning experiences in informal science education (ISE), research and evaluation capacity must be built into those systems from the very beginning, allowing for continuous data collection and visitor active participation. The Cyberlab work is motivated not simply by the availability of emerging technologies of interest, but also by ongoing efforts to address research questions around three more broad ISE areas of interest: constructivism, customization, and continuity. In support of that, the new installations allow for embedded data collection, development of adaptive exhibit content, real time assessment and evaluation, and remote visitor observations. Among tools used are the facial detection and recognition system, audio recording engine, Radio Frequency ID System, Accelerometers and Motion Sensing Systems. The cyberlab collection tools and other resources are intended to be released as open-source products and become collaborative tools, facilitating their integration into other informal learning research sites. In this regard, the proposed video session will present the two years of Cyberlab work since its creation, and discuss how its major research and education activities are collaboratively bridging the edge between marine research and science communication.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The free-choice learning and cyberlaboratory
Using cutting edge technology to build capacity at the edge of science and science communication

Susan O’Brien   Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, United States

Shawn Rowe   Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, United States

Mark Farley   Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, United States

The Oregon Sea Grant’s Free-Choice Learning (FCL) Laboratory is situated at Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), an Oregon State University marine science research facility housing a Visitor Center that functions as a living laboratory for studying self-paced, leisure-time lifelong learning. FCL is the most common type of lifelong learning. It refers to self-sought learning activities that often take place outside classrooms, guided by the needs and interests of the learner. Our FCL lab is invested in studying how people learn through these activities and inform better educational practices in informal science education venues. The National Science Foundation has funded the installation of a research infrastructure within the Visitor Center, using emergent technologies to study behavior, capture responses and adapt content to visitor needs. The “Cyberlaboratory” was established to exploit emerging technologies in a museum setting and across related learning contexts to explore methods for researching cyberlearning - the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. The basic premise underlying the cyberlab is that in order to support cyberlearning experiences in informal science education (ISE), research and evaluation capacity must be built into those systems from the very beginning, allowing for continuous data collection and visitor active participation. The Cyberlab work is motivated not simply by the availability of emerging technologies of interest, but also by ongoing efforts to address research questions around three more broad ISE areas of interest: constructivism, customization, and continuity. In support of that, the new installations allow for embedded data collection, development of adaptive exhibit content, real time assessment and evaluation, and remote visitor observations. Among tools used are the facial detection and recognition system, audio recording engine, Radio Frequency ID System, Accelerometers and Motion Sensing Systems. The cyberlab collection tools and other resources are intended to be released as open-source products and become collaborative tools, facilitating their integration into other informal learning research sites. In this regard, the proposed video session will present the two years of Cyberlab work since its creation, and discuss how its major research and education activities are collaboratively bridging the edge between marine research and science communication.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

BACK TO TOP