Introduction: Stephanie Moser

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What are the main topics of your work?  

My work focuses on empirical research exploring digital media for learning purposes both within formal as well as informal education. I am particularly interested in motivation, self-regulation and cognitive load during learning with digital media. The environments I deal (or have dealt) with comprise for example science education via multimedia learning environments, simulations for learning, flipped classroom interventions, as well as augmented reality environments.

What fascinates you about the field of informal education? 

Informal learning places offer manifold chances to enjoy fascinating artifacts, to stimulate new ideas, and to learn about global and local cultures. There are so many different types of informal learning places with unique opportunities to learn. Against this background, they offer a broad scope of information to a broad audience. Here, I find it in particular interesting that so many intentions for showing objects interplay with a variety of motivations for visiting.

Have you ever had an “aha experience” in a museum?

I remember quite a few of such experiences. As I grew up near Munich, one of the first museums I visited was the Deutsche Museum. The visits included a Faraday cage demonstration and the planetarium, which both made a big impression on the little kid I was. 

Further, I remember quite well my visit of the memorial site of the Dachau concentration camp. Here, although having heard and read a lot about the Nazi regime before, I found it very depressing and humbling to be at the place where such horrors happened. Especially the room, where the prisoners were shaved and bathed, a demeaning procedure, is still in my mind. It made me aware of how important it is to maintain such sites for future generations in order to learn about what happened there and to prevent that something like this ever happens again. 

Finally, I very much enjoy visual arts. During my visits in diverse arts museums, I was surprised by the emotional impact the paintings or installations had on me when standing right in front of them. In addition, as much as I like for example realistic, classic paintings or modern pieces, I was always a fan of conceptual art/conceptualism, where subversive humor, societal critique or skepticism play major roles in the ideas behind the artwork. Here, also the question of authenticity is certainly challenging…