The Teaching Effectiveness of Six Presentation Variations of an Interpretive Exhibit
Murphy, Susan Anne
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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An interpretive exhibit, designed to teach kindergarten through third grade children about the foods of six woodland animals, was developed at the Jordan Park Nature Center in Portage County, Wisconsin: Learning outcomes in 794 children who viewed this exhibit were measured by a paper and pencil test. The relative teaching effectiveness of six exhibit presentation variations was evaluated by comparing pre-exhibit and post-exhibit test scores. The presentation variations of the exhibit were installed consecutively over a period of testing which lasted from January through mid-February, and from mid-April through June, 1979. Black and white flatwork, colored flatwork, and mounted animals with real foods were presented in these variations. Half of the children who viewed each presentation variation encountered a participatory element of the exhibit. The colored flatwork with participation variation resulted in the most learning, followed by colored flatwork with no participation, black and white flatwork with participation, mounted animals/real foods with participation, black and white flatwork with no participation, and mom1ted animals/real foods with no participation. Limitations of the study, and implications of the results were discussed.