Museum and Multimedia Applications

Teaching Staff: Papaioannou Georgios
Course Code: MUS540
Field: Museology
Course Category: Specific Background
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: Face to face
Semester: 8th
Total Hours: 4
E Class Page:
Short Description:

The course "Museum and Multimedia Applications" is structured in 13 weekly sessions / lectures and is addressed to final-year (8th semester) students already familiar with the basic principles and directions of museology. The course refers to multimedia applications of museum content both within on-site and online museum exhibitions. We present computer software for the creation of multimedia applications and multimedia games of a museum character, as well as ways, possibilities and opportunities of dissemination of such applications. The course covers the presentation and evaluation of specific and selected examples of multimedia applications and games, as well as the procedures, methodology and implementation of such applications. Particular reference is made to interactive multimedia applications, experimental multimedia, augmented reality, pre-planned visit tailored to visitors' specific needs and characteristics, immersive and virtual environments. Basic concepts and the historical context of multimedia penetration in museums are discussed. The course analyses the need of the introduction of multimedia applications in museums as well as the evaluation of them based upon a number of parameters mainly related to the visitors' perspectives. Students are given the opportunity to design and present their own proposal to introduce multimedia into a museum environment or to critically analyze existing applications.

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course students are expected to:

  • understand the basic concepts related to the subject of multimedia as well as the historical and social context of their exploitation in the museum environment,
  • recognize the benefits and problems arising from the use of multimedia applications in a museum environment,
  • be familiar with the standard types of museum multimedia applications, such as virtual museums, multimedia guided tours, virtual and augmented reality environments,
  • describe and analyse the capabilities of high-end multimedia applications, as well as the trend of their evolution,
  • evaluate the functionality of multimedia applications in a museum environment in terms of interactivity, depth of immersion, ergonomics, documentation and interpretation of museum experience,
  • propose ways of upgrading existing museums using cutting-edge technologies and conventional multimedia ways.

Week #1: Introduction to Multimedia: Course Overview. What is Multimedia? Technological and historical context of the penetration of multimedia applications in museums. Define and deepen into the concept of multimedia. Typical features of multimedia applications. Refer to standard types of multimedia applications that include a mix of video, animation, sound, image and text. Specialization of the concept of multimedia in the museum environment with the visitor at the center of museological design.

Week #2: Typology of Multimedia Applications in Museums: Rankings of multimedia applications based on their content and functional role. Multimedia applications as interpretative means of framing authentic museum objects and as stand-alone exhibits. Reference to virtual museums, multimedia application tours, museum platform access platforms, audiovisual presentations, edutainment games, and 3D virtual reality environments.

Week #3: Virtual - Online Museums: The virtual visit to the museum. Advantages and disadvantages. Key operating formulas, such as general information and viewing, access to content via a virtual visit, and an interactive application for personalized use. Virtual museums in Greece and abroad.

Week #4: Museum Tour and Multimedia Applications: Digital Tour: Historical review of audio guides, PDAs and multimedia guides with personalized guided tours. Established and original multimedia museum touring applications. Advantages and disadvantages related to the physical tour.

Week #5: Multimedia Fixed Screen Applications in the Museum Environment: Educational games. Documentary screenings. 3D rendering of exhibits. Search engines. Interactive maps. View video, animation, graphics, model sites and exhibits. Interpretation of animation applications. Possibilities of fixed-screen applications in the presentation of abstract concepts, the multiplicity of interpretations, the immediacy and the condensation of a large amount of information in a short period of time.

Week #6: Sound and Multimedia Applications in the Museum Environment: Principles of Sound Museology Design. Analysis of the museum echo. Typology of sound design applications in their operation. Reference to applications including sound lining, sound tour, presentation of original sound exhibits, sound reports as well as three dimensional structured sounds that are distinguished by realistic simulations, creative representations and sound-free development environments.

Week #7: Multimedia Applications in the Free/Open Musical Environment Tour (I): The visitor on the move and interacting with the multimedia and the museum environment: Immersion environments, sound and light performances, realistic simulations, creative representations, artistic facilities. Virtual Reality Definition (VR). Criteria for immersion and interaction, multisensory experience.

Week #8: Multimedia Applications in the Free/Open Tour of the Museum Environment (II): The visitor on the move and interacting with the multimedia and the museum environment. Definition of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality. AR applications on personal multimedia devices such as smartphones, tablets, AR smart glasses & headsets, Use of physical index & QR code. Modern trends in augmented reality multimedia applications. Redefining the concept of the museum environment.

Week #9: Visit to Museum & Assignment of Group Presentations: A group visit to a museum that uses augmented reality multimedia applications to bring students into direct contact with the subject matter of the course.

Week #10: Interpretation Issues in Multimedia Applications: The Influence of Multimedia on Creating the Meaning. Signal of the sound and text image. Transformation of information during digitization organization and presentation in multimedia systems. Reference frame and relevance to museological design.

Week #11: Technical Design of Multimedia Applications for Museum Use: System Design. Typical means of information representation and interconnection of information nodes in hypermedia networks. Databases. Specialties. Conditions. Content specifications. Technological constraints. Enhanced Reality Application Development Tools. Open source multimedia design software. Overview of popular software such as FLARToolKit, Thinglink, StoryMap JS and AR-media.

Week #12: Advantages, Problems and Prospects of Multimedia Applications in the Museum Environment: The Effect of Multimedia on Museum Experience. The impact of multimedia on museum experience. The redefinition of the museum concept. Interaction. Accessibility. Technical problems of digital representation. Participation of the young public. Interfacing with the local community and the international environment. Future uses and capabilities.

Week #13: Group Presentation: Group presentations (15-minute group presentation and 5-10 minute for questions / discussion).

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Barthes, R. (1957). Μυθολογίες, Μάθημα, Γ. Κρητικός, επιμ., Αθήνα: Κέδρος 1979.
  • Barthes, R. 1977. Image, Music, Text, New York: Hill and Wang.
  • Carrozzino, M. 2010. “Beyond virtual museums: Experiencing immersive virtual reality in real museums”, Journal of Cultural Heritage 11: 452-458.
  • Chatzidimitris, T., Kavakli, E., Economou, M., Gavalas, D. 2013. “Mobile Augmented Reality edutainment applications for cultural institutions”, Proceedings 4th Conference of Information Intelligence Systems and Applications (IISA), 1-4.
  • Chion, M. 1994. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, C. Gorbman, ed., New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Crean, B. 2001. “Audio-Visual Hardware”, in G. D. Lord and B. Lord, eds., The Manual of Museum Exhibitions, Walnut Creek CA: Altamira, 214-22.
  • Doerr, M. 2003. “The CIDOC CRM: an Ontological Approach to Semantic Interoperability of Metadata”, AI Magazine 24 (3): 75-92.
  • Fidas, C., Amourgis, N. M. 2015. “Personalization of Mobile Heritage. Application in Cultural Heritage Environments”, Proceedings of the 6th Conference of Information Intelligence Systems and Applications (IISA), Workshop on mobile Hypermedia Application for culture, July 2015, 1-15.
  • Field, A. 2000. “Simulation and Reality: The New Sonic Objects”, in S. Emmerson, ed., Music, Electronic Media and Culture, Aldershot: Ashgate, 36-55.
  • Jones-Garmil, K. 1997. “Laying the Foundation: Three Decades of Computer Technology in the Museum”, in. K. Jones-Garmil, ed., The Wired Museum, Washington DC: American Association of Museums.
  • MacDonald, G. F., Alsford, S. 1997. “Conclusion: Toward the Meta-Museum”, in. K. Jones-Garmil, ed., the Wired Museum, Washington DC: American Association of Museums.
  • McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. 1967. The Medium is the Massage, New York, London and Toronto: Bantam Books.
  • Marty, P. F., Jones, K. B., 2008. Museum Informatics: People, Information, and Technology in Museums, New York, London: Routledge.
  • Sayre, S. 1998. “Assuring the Successful Integration of Multimedia Technology in an Art Museum Environment” in S. Thomas and A. Mintz, eds., The Virtual and the Real: Media in the Museum, American Association of Museums, 129-44.
  • Sayre, S. 1998. “Multimedia Investment Strategies at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts” in S. Thomas and A. Mintz, eds., The Virtual and the Real: Media in the Museum, American Association of Museums, 236-40.
  • Schieder, T., K., Adukaute, A., Cauton, L., 2013. “Mobile Apps devoted to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A map”, in Z. Yiang, I. Tussyadiah (eds), Information & Communication Technology in Tourism, Springe Institution Publications, Switzerland, 17-29.
  • Semper, R., J. 1998. “Designing Hybrid Environments: Integrating Media into Exhibition Space”, in S. Thomas and A. Mintz, eds., The Virtual and the Real: Media in the Museum, American Association of Museums, 119-27.
  • Sonnenschein, D. 2001. Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema, Studio City CA: Michael Wiese Productions.
  • Thomas, S. 1998. “Mediated Realities: A Media Perspective”, in S. Thomas and A. Mintz, eds., The Virtual and the Real: Media in the Museum, American Association of Museums, 1-17.
  • Zisiou, M. 2015, “Broadening the limits of the museum experience through designed sonic environment”, S. Alifragis, G. Papakonstantinou, C. Papasarantou (eds), Museums in Motion Symposium proceedings, 3-4 July 2015, University of Thessaly Press, Volos 2015.
  • Μπούνια, Α., Νικονάνου, Ν. 2008. «Η Κινούμενη Εικόνα ως Ερμηνευτικό Μέσο στα Μουσεία», στο Α. Μπούνια, Ν. Νικονάνου και Μ. Οικονόμου, επιμ., Η Τεχνολογία στην Υπηρεσία της Πολιτισμικής Κληρονομιάς, Πρακτικά Β΄ Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου Μουσειολογίας (Μυτιλήνη, 28 Ιουνίου-2 Ιουλίου 2004), Αθήνα: Καλειδοσκόπιο, 363-71.
  • Νικηφορίδου, Α., Γκαζή, Α. 2008. «Το Βίντεο ως Ερμηνευτικό Μέσο. Η Περίπτωση δύο Πρόσφατων Εκθέσεων στο Ίδρυμα Μείζονος Ελληνισμού», στο Α. Μπούνια, Ν. Νικονάνου και Μ. Οικονόμου, επιμ., Η Τεχνολογία στην Υπηρεσία της Πολιτισμικής Κληρονομιάς, Πρακτικά Β΄ Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου Μουσειολογίας (Μυτιλήνη, 28 Ιουνίου-2 Ιουλίου 2004), Αθήνα: Καλειδοσκόπιο, 373-84.
Teaching Methods:
  • Lecture with participatory discussion
  • Study material on e-learning platform
  • Case studies - discussion
  • Group work - presentation
  • Educational visit
New Technologies:


Evaluation Methods:
  • Group presentation (50%) - compulsory
  • Written assignment (50%) - compulsory
  • Reflective Journals - Optional action to evaluate the learning process


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