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Title: Radical trust works : an investigation of digital visitor generated content and visitor engagement in museum spaces
Author: Ross, C. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 2160
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Visitor generated content projects are becoming increasingly significant in the development and delivery of engaging visitor experiences in museums in the UK, but the rationale behind them and the impact they are having on not only visitor engagement but also museum practice are not always clear. There is a requirement to understand and articulate the impact of digital visitor co-creation in the museum environment and to discuss the challenges of implementing digital innovation projects in museums and the implications this has on institutional change. This thesis presents an investigation into the potential of digital visitor generated content applications in museum spaces to foster visitor engagement. The study emphasises that in order to develop engaging digital visitor generated content applications, museums must radically trust their visitors. As part of this research two digital visitor generated content systems were designed, tested, implemented and evaluated in three museums in the UK; the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL, the Imperial War Museum, London and the Imperial War Museum North, Manchester. This thesis discusses the process of inception to evaluation of these applications and considers their impact on visitor engagement and goes on to investigate the challenges they bring to implementing digital innovation in a museum environment. Two key issues came out of the research into digital visitor generated content; the importance of radical trust and the fact that post moderation with digital visitor generated content does work. Additionally this thesis identified a number of challenges about the way that digital innovation projects are conducted and how they could be overcome, and finally some recommendations are offered for museums seeking to undertake digital innovation projects in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available