Title:The Design and Development of an Online Exhibition for Heritage Information Awareness
Authors:Schubert Foo, Leong Chee Khoon, Chennupati Ramaiah
Publication:MW2002: Museums and the Web 2002

The Internet is a communication channel where ideas and information may be freely and easily shared and communicated among members of diverse communities around the world. By combining the capabilities of latest computers, communication and multimedia technologies, web-base multimedia systems can be developed and delivered through Internet to the distributed users around the globe. Web-based multimedia systems provide an exciting means and communication channel for information access and sharing throughout the world. These systems have immense potential in public education, stimulating the learning process by exploring and doing, and by bringing children out of their school compound on trips around the world with just a few clicks. In this study, a web-based multimedia exhibition ?Colours of the Wind? was designed and developed based on an existing exhibition that took the original form of static physical displays. The exhibition is part of a series of National Education exhibitions put together by the National Archives of Singapore to promote heritage information awareness among school children. As part of the design, a requirements gathering study was carried out with 77 university students to determine the users? requirements in terms of their computer and web experience, content expectations of online exhibition and their prior exposure to these systems. Based on these user requirements, a prototype of an online exhibition system was developed which was subsequently evaluated to assess the prototype and to elicit gaps in the design. In the evaluation with 30 students from the same pool form whom requirements were gathered, it was found that the online exhibition was well received by the surveyed community. The respondents were of the opinion that it has satisfied most of their requirements of an online exhibition apart from a search engine. They also felt that online exhibitions were the most flexible mode of delivering heritage information to inculcate awareness among the school children and public, particularly so, in the context of Singapore. It is because that Singapore is one of the countries of highest percentage of Internet users in the world.