Piloting the pod

exhibit pod
The exhibit pod, with built-in video recording equipment and consent granting via touchscreen tablets.

Following nine months of iterative design and development by the research team, the interactive research pod has been piloted live over October half term in 2015 and during February 2016 half-term holiday. Some of you may have helped us experiment with it – thank you! We gave you the challenge of building the best building you could with simple wooden blocks. We were able to record the construction process and the finished results through a set-up of digital surveillance cameras built into the exhibit.

We gained permission to use the images of people building constructions through online consent forms on touchscreen tablets. If consent was given, the tablet screen exhibited green.

A touchscreen tablet showing permission given for video footage to be reviewed for research purposes.
A touchscreen tablet showing permission given for video footage to be reviewed for research purposes.

When the researchers review the footage, the only sections of film they can analyse will be when a green or yellow screen is visible (yellow meant consent was given, but the footage may not be used for anything but this research, and red on screen meant permission was not granted). Timestamps between the filmed footage and online consent forms were also matched for back-up, in case the tablet was obscured in the film (by a keen participant construction engineer!).

We piloted three different contexts to see whether there was a change in levels of creativity and innovation between 1) people working on their own, unable to see others’ work, 2) people working by themselves but able to see each other’s constructions, and 3) people working together to make a construction collaboratively.

Researchers' View

Thanks to everyone’s helpful participation and feedback, we are now developing a digital version of the physical building challenge, and a version that will be a blend of physical and digital activities to see if the physical or digital setting affects creativity and innovation.


This blog was originally posted to the Centre for Life’s website entitled “Piloting new Exhibits Measuring Creativity and Innovation”. The blog was the fourth most popular read in 2015, according to Google Analytics for life.org.uk/blog. Importantly, the Google Analytics revealed that the average dwell time (time spent) on the blog’s page was 4 minutes 34 secs. For comparison, most brand site webpages have average dwell times of 2-3 mins, the Centre for Life’s webpages have an average dwell time of 1 minute and 04 secs, and the video-rich BBC.co.uk websites have the world’s best average dwell times of c. 10 minutes (see source http://www.smartinsights.com). The 328% increase in length of dwell by readers compared to the average page dwell on the Centre for Life’s website indicates that most of the viewers completed a full in-depth read of the knowledge sharing article.

Further online  knowledge sharing was achieved through the technical set up of the digital information systems being shared in a technical user-forum – the post has already received positive comments from users of the online forum.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s