The effect of tour type on visitors’ perceived cognitive load and learning

Research
TitleThe effect of tour type on visitors’ perceived cognitive load and learning
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsVan Winkle, CM
JournalJournal of Interpretation Research
Volume17
Issue1
Pagination45 - 58
Date Published2012///
AbstractThis paper discusses the effect of audio versus guided tours on visitors’ cognitive load at a national historic site. As more sites employ digital media devices to engage visitors, a better understanding of the impact of these devices on visitors’ experiences at sites is needed. This research took place during the summer of 2008 at a Canadian national historic site and examined how tour type (audio or guided) impacted the visitor’s learning process (cognitive load) and outcomes (learning transfer). The contextual model of learning, cognitive load theory, and learning transfer research were used as foundations to examine free-choice learning and the visitor’s experience. The results show that the type of tour taken does affect the learning experience. Specifically, audio tour participants indicated greater cognitive load than guided tour participants. Participants’ ability to transfer learning was not affected by tour type. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and directions for future research are identified.
URLhttp://www.interpnet.com/nai/docs/Publications/JIR-v17n1.pdf#page=49