From Intent to Impact: Building a Culture of Evaluation

May/June 2008Dimensions cover

Science centers regularly collect data about exhibits and programs, documenting how visitors respond to what the institution offers to public audiences. But once the report is filed, what happens to this knowledge? Is it used to inform daily practice, influence future planning, or demonstrate to a funding organization that the institution is meeting both its own goals and theirs? Many museum professionals think it’s time to apply a strategy of mission-based evaluation to all operations. To accomplish that, staff must first look inward. In this issue, we explore how museums within and outside the science center field are striving to make self-evaluation an integral part of their institutional culture.

To What End? Achieving Mission Through Intentional Practice, by Randi Korn, with Mission Evaluation: An Annotated Bibliography
• Learning from the Process: Developmental Evaluation Within ‘Agents of Change,’ by Myrica Gration and Julie Jones
• Striving for Sustainability: A Self-Assessment Tool for Museums, by Charlie Trautmann
• The Funder’s Perspective: IMLS, Evaluation, and Public Value, by Marsha Semmel
• Planning for Family Learning: Research, Evaluation, and Decision Making, by Julie I. Johnson and Kirsten Ellenbogen
• The Funder’s Perspective: Measuring Progress Toward Mission, by Ann Stone
• Scitech’s Effectiveness Review: Appraising the Present, Planning for the Future, by Suzannah Lyons
• The Three Questions, by Carolyn Meehan

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