March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Workshops: Description

Thinking Evaluatively: Gateway to Evaluation

Kate Haley_Goldman, Institute for Learning Innovation, USA

Are you among the many museum and technology professionals who want to better understand your visitors' experiences? Are you curious about evaluation but feel like you need the backstory? You are in the right place! This workshop will not turn participants into evaluators overnight. Rather, this workshop serves as an introduction to the field of evaluation. Participants will explore ways of thinking about and approaching evaluation that allows them to integrate simple, straightforward evaluative frameworks into their development process. We will start with your ideas, thoughts, fears of, and needs for evaluation. Next, we will have group activities and discussion regarding the potential and the limitations of evaluation, what is reasonable to expect from evaluation and how evaluation can improve a product. Further discussions will involve the timing of evaluations with your project and the pros and cons in hiring an outside evaluator. Additionally, you will acquire the knowledge to help you become more effective consumers of evaluation. Participants are encouraged to bring a specific project or idea to the workshop, and to share their prior experiences as they work together to discover ways to translate evaluation theory into practice. You will be asked to complete a pre-conference assignment of readings (provided) and reflection in order to jump-start the conversation.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the workshop, participants will have greater understanding in the following areas:

Who should attend:

Museum educators and other museum professionals, technology designers and producers and individuals interested in better connecting with their users. No experience with evaluation is required.

Workshop: Haley-Goldman [Afternoon]

Keywords: evaluation, planning, methods