Collaboration and Competition in Exhibit Facilitation Around Energy Literacy

Friday, March 5, 2021
Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Games, Simulations, and Interactives, Exhibitions, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals
Education and learning science | General STEM | Technology
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

In this study we explore two different faciitation styles, collaboration and competition, in an 1-hour long, highly interactive, digital experience called Future Energy Chicago. The aim of the faciliations is to affect guests' energy literacy, that is their knowledge of, and their attitude and behavior toward energy conservation. In the collaboration condition, guests were encouraged to talk as a whole room about what they had learned about energy during the latest round of play with the goal for the whole room to get as high a score as possible. In the competition condition, guests met only in small teams to discuss what they had discovered and then competed against other teams for high scores. Both conditions were compared to each other and to a control group of guests who answered the same items after visiting a non-energy-related exhibit (control condition). Results suggest benefits to both collaboration and competition. Specifically, we found that guests in the collaboration condition showed stronger positive attitudes toward energy conservation and a greater willingness to change their energy behaviors than guests in the control condition. On the other hand, guests in the competition group showed the highest scores on the learning items. Interestingly, competition might be especially effective for female guests’ learning. 

Publication Name: 
Journal of Museum Education
Page Number: 

Team Members

Aaron PriceAuthor

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