Practical Evaluation Guide: Tools for Museums and Other Informal Educational Settings (Revised 3rd Edition)

Published:2016, Rowman & Littlefield Pubs
Lanham, MD
Authors:Diamond, J., Horn, M., and Uttal, D. H.

evaluation, museum, informal education, museum studies

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Administrators of museums and other informal-learning centers often need to demonstrate, in some tangible way, the effectiveness of their institutions as teaching tools. Practical Evaluation Guide discusses specific methods for analyzing audience learning and behavior in museums, zoos, botanic gardens, nature centers, camps, and youth programs.
Evaluation is essential because it allows you to answer critical questions like:
• How can one measure the impacts of educational experiences in a museum, zoo, or aquarium?
• Are digital technologies more effective than traditional exhibits for enhancing visitor interest and understanding?
• How does one measure learning in these informal environments where visitors themselves decide what they will experience?
• Since we know many visitors come to informal institutions for social interaction and play, how does one access these social impacts?
The Practical Evaluation Guide is an all-in-one resource to guide professionals working in museums and other informal educational institutions. This new edition includes updates throughout and features a brand-new chapter on evaluating digital interactive exhibits. The section on observational tools includes a new section on using video recordings and the section on interviews includes recent studies from countries outside the U.S.
Practical Evaluation Guide serves as a basic, easy-to-follow guide for museum professionals and students who want to understand the effects of such public institutions on the people who visit them.