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Older and Younger Adults' Interactions with 3D Digital Cultural Heritage Artefacts

Alelis, Genevieve (2015) Older and Younger Adults' Interactions with 3D Digital Cultural Heritage Artefacts. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:54726)


The availability of advanced software allows museums to preserve and share artefacts digitally, and as a result, museums are frequently making their collections accessible online as interactive, 3D models. Since this could lead to the unique situation of viewing the digital artefact before the physical artefact, more research is needed concerning how viewing and interacting with artefacts outside of a museum affects emotional connections to artefacts and how meaning is given to them. Furthermore, users may have varying degrees of technology skills, which could also influence the way they make emotional connections and meaning from interactions with digital artefacts.

This study contributes to existing research by exploring the way older adults (65 years and older) and young adults (18-21 years), two groups of users with diverse technology skills and museum experience, emotionally connect and give meaning to digital artefacts. Interaction with digital artefacts will be through two digital modalities: an Augmented Reality app (AR) on a tablet and 3D models on a website using a laptop. Their subsequent viewing of the physical artefacts will also be examined. Video recordings and questionnaire data, including enjoyment and emotional responses, were analysed quantitatively. Utilising the think-aloud method, participants verbalised their thoughts and feelings while interacting with the artefacts. These comments were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively to understand how participants construct meaning from their interactions with artefacts.

Results revealed that regardless of age and digital modality, participants made emotional connections with the digital artefacts, and meaning emerged from their interactions. Seeing the physical artefacts after the digital ones still prompted participants to experience emotions; they were not passive when giving meaning to physical artefacts. The results aim to provide insight into how older and younger adults experience two important aspects of a museum artefact experience, emotion and meaning, when first interacting with 3D artefacts on devices outside of a museum.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Uncontrolled keywords: augmented reality; 3D; elderly; young adults; emotion; meaning; cultural heritage; museum; artefacts
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
T Technology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2016 13:00 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 17:05 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Alelis, Genevieve.

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