When are evaluation and other visitor feedback strategies the most useful for helping advance a science center’s mission? When are such strategies less successful?August 25th, 2013 - Posted in 2013, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the September/October 2013 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Evaluation is a powerful tool for providing visitors with a voice, which then enables us to stay relevant to their needs and motivations. The goal of any exhibit or program is to engage visitors, perhaps challenging them to think critically about a concept or topic or to reflect on their own understanding. To do this, we need to understand who our visitors are and what knowledge and attitudes they may be bringing to an experience, as well as what would most likely pique their interest and keep them engaged. This strategy is only ineffective if the institution is not ready or willing to hear and act upon that voice.
Joy Kubarek-Sandor, director, learning planning and evaluation
John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago