EMOTIVE aims to explore new ways audiences feel and experience cultural heritage and to define methodologies for their evaluation.

Towards an EMOTIVE conceptual framework

EMOTIVE aims to move away from privileging didactic learning outcomes to explore other ways audiences feel and experience cultural heritage. Through emotive experiences, visitors are able to interact with the site’s interpretation, change it and move it in the direction they want. The significance of such an approach for facilitating engagement, resonance, care and commitment to cultural heritage cannot be overestimated.

Our research suggests that the key challenge is thus in managing the balance of providing emotive experiences that enable learning rather than eclipsing or privileging it, therein ensuring impact. EMOTIVE has been experimenting with different approaches in employing emotion to foster a deeper connection and understanding of heritage and considers its successful application to this end as one of its main challenges.

The EMOTIVE evaluation approach

An important objective of EMOTIVE is to study, assess and analyse the effect that the tools and experiences designed have on both authors and end users/visitors. The project also aims to evaluate how the overall interpretative philosophy underpinning it and the power of ‘EMOTIVE experiences’ engages different types of users and in different contexts and situations.

The challenge is to define and describe a detailed methodological and practical approach for evaluating emotive experiences, with the aspiration to become a useful framework for others in the field. It is of key importance to identify what should be evaluated in different types of experiences and what is the most effective way to accomplish it. To this day there has not been a standard evaluation framework to guide cultural heritage experience evaluation and, more importantly, not one that takes emotions into account.