Graphical Markov Models as Snapshots of Visitors’ Interactions (2017)

This study was a follow-up to my Master’s thesis in my program. I looked at how groups talked when engaged with an interactive touchscreen museum exhibit about ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea. To simplify the coding from my Master’s thesis, I decided to look at how groups’ talk moved towards more supportive kind of talk (that encouraged learning) and how it moved away from being supportive (e.g., ignoring statements, changing subjects, etc.). I also examined if supportive talk actually led to demonstrations of learning through talk. Finally, I used graphical Markov models to show these interactions for each sub-group (e.g., families who were museum members, adults who are non-members, etc.). I found that families who were members were the most likely to engaged in supportive kinds of talk, but they were also the least likely to demonstrate learning through talk. This finding contrasted with what I found for both families and adults who were non-members, as both of these groups engaged in less supportive talk but demonstrated more learning through talk. Further investigation with improved balance between sub-groups is necessary to explore how members and non-members differ in how they support each other’s learning while interacting with a touchscreen exhibit.

The full paper of this work was presented at the annual meeting for the American Educational Research Association in April 2017.