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Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
Visitor studies certificate 2011
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Visitor studies certificate 2011

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  • Introduction, Me (MSU Museum, NYA, Museology & New Directions). My interest in VS, I want to know why things happen the way they do…and how we can improve our practice…Also, Seek to improve or practice through evidence. Evidence-based practice. SIMPLE CONCEPTS! Story about New York Aquarium, developing sea lion shows “you are an integral part of the environment around you and your actions can help or hurt that environment”… everyone always said “we have such an amazing conservation message”… my response: “how do we know that’s true?, how do we know that anyone is taking that away?” …. They’d say “well, if just one person gets it, we’ve done our job”…. After putting in so much time, money and effort into a program/exhibit… do we really want to just effect one person?.... I think we can shoot higher! And the way we do that is through gathering data, gathering evidence that what we’re doing is relevant, something visitors actually are responding to.
  • We’ll use these terms somewhat interchangeably.Ask group what comes to mind when they think of the term “Evaluation”.
  • These are some of the words you used when I asked about what you thought people who work with visitor studies do. Add in understand, and improve. Museum evaluators seek to understand and document the experiences of our visitors, and learning that occurs
  • The wordy definition  …… AAM, committee for Audience Research & Evaluation
  • Important part here: systematic collection of information, visitors looking at actual and potential audiences, using that knowledge, and planning activities based on the data you collect.
  • Kathleen Tinworth, Audience Research Director and Denver Museum of Science & Nature. And easy philosophy to live by when thinking about starting to use evaluation in your work…. Easy for people to get without using so much jargon.
  • These are your results of your rated knowledge and experience…. Opinion Line: Not everyone has the same “knowledge” or “experience” with VS, but everyone comes with some perspective or opinion, it’s important to know how we feel, our own philosophy, before we undertake VS, or do it in our museums! Go through prompts.. Discuss responses – tell me more about why you think this, any brave souls want to play devil’s advocate? …. Evaluation is a valuable tool to determine an organization or institutions effectiveness.Evaluation should be everyone’s responsibility.Evaluation is best done by professionals with training and skills.As long as we provide a great visitor experience, we don’t really need evaluation.Politics determine decision making, not information we get from evaluation.Some data is better than no data.Evaluation take staff time and resources.It’s common to think evaluation is something we just tack on to the end of a project, or only do when we have extra time. But evaluation should be incorporated to the whole project development process…Also, Seek to improve or practice through evidence. Evidence-based practice. SIMPLE CONCEPTS! Story about New York Aquarium, developing sea lion shows “you are an integral part of the environment around you and your actions can help or hurt that environment”… everyone always said “we have such an amazing conservation message”… my response: “how do we know that’s true?, how do we know that anyone is taking that away?” …. They’d say “well, if just one person gets it, we’ve done our job”…. After putting in so much time, money and effort into a program/exhibit… do we really want to just effect one person?.... I think we can shoot higher! And the way we do that is through gathering data, gathering evidence that what we’re doing is relevant, something visitors actually are responding to.
  • When should you do evaluation? Stages of program or exhibit development. Evaluation isn’t just something you do at the end of a project… it’s an integral part of project development:Front End: conceptual, before the start, exploratory, visitor understanding, interest, misconceptions, paints a picture of the landscape before project begins, often called “needs assessment” (especially for grant proposals).Formative: Assess ongoing project activities as a program/exhibit is being developed (often iterative),Results are intended to offer direct, concrete, and practical ways to improve a project,Must be open to making changes midstream based on something that does not seem to be working.Remedial:Small studies that take place when program/exhibit is up and running,Tweaking and modifications, maybe after a “soft” open.Summative: To assess whether or not a project achieved its goals and objectives. Did the program/exhibit do what it was intended to do? Determine the efficacy of the program/exhibition,Serves to inform future exhibit and program developmentStory: back to aquarium, we wanted to do a show about voting…. But they said ,”maybe we shouldn’t because people already know that voting is a conservation action. Well, lets ask them! We did some front-end evaluation… they rated voting as lower importance so, we know that that’s an area we can beef up..… after the show, they rated it higher. A good example of evaluation in practice….
  • Breezing through this, some methods that can be used in evaluation. This is overly emphasized by museums looking to do evaluation. I.e. if we want to do evaluation, a common mistake is to jump right into methods without taking time to plan, “lets evaluate this exhibit, we should make a survey and hand it out to visitors”… . The method used should be dictated by the questions that we ask or the type of information we want to know.
  • SO WHAT!? Lets take a step back for a second, Brainstorm as group and write list on board of what museums do, is there a difference in the items on the board? Some about what we do (activities) some about the difference we make (outcome)
  • Outputs are the activities that museum undertake… they are the “products” or the “things” that museums do or create. It’s great to design and put up an exhibit, but “Why” would a museum put up an exhibit, develop a program?... That’s more important
  • Impacts (also referred to as outcomes) - The results of the outputs, the results of our activities… how are you effecting some sort of change in your audience? How do they think, feel, act differently… “at the end of the day I know this exhibit was successful when….”Go back to board. . . Which things were outputs, which were impacts? Describe this images (kids playing in a giant robin’s nest, what impact might the team have desired in creating this exhibit?
  • Impact categories & framework…. National Science Foundation CategoriesGeneric Learning Outcomes: From the Museums, Library and Archive Council in the UK: “Inspiring Learning” meant to help museums improve their learning activities
  • What are some of the outcomes we want for awareness, knowledge or understanding?
  • Similar to engagement, interest… but typically refers to more stable constructs like “empathy towards animals”… or happiness ratings scales, “agree-disagree” scale items… (like our opinion line)
  • Relevant to Zoo, Aquariums, Botanical Gardens – commonly, getting people to take part in conservation actions….For example, we might say we want to change behavior by saying youth who participate in the project will choose to spend more time outside in the next 3 months
  • Measurable demonstration of new skills or the reinforcement or practice of developing skills. (procedural aspects of knowing)
  • How do we know we’re making a difference, and how do we know we’re achieving these impacts? What does success look like? This brings us back to evaluation… evaluation comes in by identify Indicators of success…
  • With the person next to you, or at your table, develop impact statements for a proposed exhibit with the topic of homelessness in the pacific northwest
  • With the person next to you, or at your table, develop impact statements for a proposed exhibit with the topic of homelessness in the pacific northwest
  • Don’t conduct evaluation if you’re not prepared to use it! Some examples from practice… Australia Museum “Audience Research Blog” – Misty Cases example. Audience research there showed that people were sometimes disheartened by seeing multiple stuffed (taxidermied) animals in a row, such as these birds… exhibits was able to take that information and develop these “misty” cases where visitors can pass by without seeing them, or stand close to view just one or two… from a distance the cases appear frosted over.
  • New Directions team, doing a front-end evaluation of the current harbor seal exhibit…. Exhibit will change regardless, but an example of assessing visitor knowledge and attitudes toward harbor seals, and attention to the exhibit and it’s interpretive elements… Will be a great “baseline” or start, once renovation is complete, will re-do the evaluation – a summative – to see whether or not there is a change.
  • Summarize the discussion:
  • With the person next to you, or at your table, develop impact statements for a proposed exhibit with the topic of homelessness in the pacific northwest
  • With the person next to you, or at your table, develop impact statements for a proposed exhibit with the topic of homelessness in the pacific northwest
  • Contact information. Pass out sheets, quick evaluation, “what is one thing you took away, or one thing you think you’ll remember from our discussion today?”
  • Transcript

    • 1. VISITOR STUDIES What? So What?... Now What!?
    • 2. What? AUDIENCE RESEARCH EVALUATION VISITOR STUDIES 2
    • 3. What? Observe Data collection Analysis Polling Research ReportingSurveys Feedback Opinions Understand ImproveWho visits? 3 Marketing
    • 4. What?IN GENERAL…Audience Research or Visitor Studies areterms commonly used in the museum field todescribe the process of systematicallyobtaining knowledge from and aboutmuseum visitors, actual and potential, for thepurpose of increasing and utilizing thatknowledge in the planning and execution ofactivities that relate to the public. AAM Committee for Audience Research & Evaluation 4
    • 5. What?IN GENERAL…Audience Research or Visitor Studies areterms commonly used in the museum field todescribe the process of systematicallyobtaining knowledge from and aboutmuseum visitors, actual and potential, for thepurpose of increasing and utilizing thatknowledge in the planning and execution ofactivities that relate to the public. AAM Committee for Audience Research & Evaluation 5
    • 6. What?IN ITS SIMPLEST TERMS…Evaluation is a process thathelps us answers 3 questions: What? SoWhat? Now What? 6
    • 7. What? WHAT’S YOUR VIEW? Knowledge Experience 7
    • 8. What? WHEN TO EVALUATE Front-End Formative Remedial Summative 8 Concept Development Preview Post-Opening/ Implementation
    • 9. What? EVALUATION METHODS  Types of methods include:  Questionnaires/Surveys  Interviews (structured  semi-structured  structured)  Focus Groups  Focused Observations  Tracking & Timing Studies  Concept Mapping  Document Analysis  There is no “best” method – we often use mixed methods 9
    • 10. So what? WHAT DO MUSEUMS DO? 10
    • 11. So what? OUTPUTS • Projects • Exhibits • Collections • Research • Budgets 11
    • 12. So what? OUTCOMES. . . AKA IMPACTS . . .  I learned about . . .  My family is going to do . . .  I am more interested in . . .  I had fun. . . . We had fun. . . . i.e. if successful, how will your audience be 12 different as a result of their experience?
    • 13. So what? BIG QUESTION: HOW DO MUSEUMS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? 13And how do we know?
    • 14. So what? NSF IMPACT CATEGORIES Awareness, knowledge or understanding (of) Engagement or interest (in) Attitude (towards) Behavior (related to) Skills GENERIC LEARNING OUTCOMES Knowledge and Understanding Enjoyment, Inspiration, Creativity Attitudes and Values Activity, Behavior and Progression Skills 14
    • 15. So what?AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE ORUNDERSTANDING Knowing what or about something Learning facts or information “Visitors will be aware that their Making sense of something daily actions have an impact on the Deepening understanding marine environment.” How museums, libraries and archives operate Making links and relationships between 15
    • 16. So what? ENGAGEMENT OR INTEREST Participation, engagement, interest are prerequisites for other types of learning Having fun“Children who participate in the Being surprised Innovative thoughts more engaged inprogram will beviewing contemporary art. Creativity Exploration, experimentation Being inspired 16
    • 17. So what? ATTITUDES & VALUES  Feelings  Perceptions  Opinions about ourselves (e.g. self esteem)  “Adults will express a positive Opinions or attitudes towards other people  Increased capacity for the importance attitude towards tolerance of  Empathy play in their lives”  Increased motivation  Positive and negative attitudes in relation to an experience 17
    • 18. So what? BEHAVIOR What people do What people intend to do “Adults will avoid eating foods that What people have done have a substantially negative Reported or observed actions impact on the way people manage their A change in the environment.” lives 18
    • 19. So what?SKILLS Knowing how to do something Being able to do new things Intellectual skills “Adults will be able to document Information management skills observations of plants that are affected by climate change.” Social skills Communication skills Physical skills 19
    • 20. Now what? WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? DEVELOPING INDICATORS 20
    • 21. Now what? FRYE ART MUSEUM Impact Possible Indicators 1. Visitors will point, gesture, step forward, nod, raise hand during Visitors will be Engage physically tour program. and verbally with the artwork 2. Visitors will ask questions, make statements regarding the artwork, and share opinions with gallery guide or other visitors Evidence of success: % of visitors who …. 21
    • 22. Now what? YOUR TURN! PROPOSED EXHIBIT TOPIC: “HOMELESSNESS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST”1. Develop an impact statement, one for each category2. Write your impact statements on the board 22
    • 23. Now what? YOUR TURN! PROPOSED EXHIBIT TOPIC: “HOMELESSNESS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST”1. As a class lets discuss some potential indicators of success….2. What evidence would show you that your desired impact has been achieved. 23
    • 24. Now what? USE IT! Australia Museum – “Misty” Cases 24 http://australianmuseum.net.au/Audience-Research-Blog/
    • 25. Now what? USE IT! Seattle Aquarium – Harbor Seal Exhibit 25
    • 26. SUMMARY •Evaluation is a systematic process of collecting information from your audience. What? •Evaluation should be included in all phases of development. •Museums should clarify their desired impacts before they create their outputs. So what? •Evaluation can be use to help assess whether desired impacts are achieved. •Use evaluation to paint a picture of the museum landscape, in decision making, and Now what? improvement of exhibits & programs. 26 •Don’t do it unless you’re ready to use it!
    • 27. More! RESOURCESVisitor Studies Association (VSA)www.visitorstudies.orgAmerican Evaluation Associationwww.eval.orgCommittee for Audience Research & Evaluation (CARE)www.care-aam.orgInspiring Learning (GLO)www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.ukNational Science Foundationhttp://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf02057/nsf02057.pdf 27
    • 28. More! JOURNALS & WEBwww.informalscience.org - evaluation reportsVisitor StudiesCurator: The Museum JournalJournal of Interpretation ResearchJournal of Museum EducationMuseums & Social IssuesInformal Learning Review 28
    • 29. Nick VisscherCoordinator for Professional Experiences vissche2@uw.edu 29

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