Sunday, July 15, 2007

Audience Research Readings

Digital Eva asks: I'm wondering if there any precise and comprehensive guide of evaluation process available. At this point, the information that I have is just basic. Is the evaluation process in museum exhibits different than other kind of evaluation process?

Hi Eva, there are plenty of texts that relate to museum evaluation. I have noted some of them on this post, with a link to my website where there is a downloadable list of texts.

The best one to start with is Judy Diamond's book Practical Evaluation Guide: tools for museums and other informal educational settings (Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 1999) and the paper I wrote for the Journal of Archival Science which outlines the whole process and gives examples (and also has a very comprehensive reading list). I plan to post this paper to my wiki. George Hein's Learning in the Museum (London: Routledge, 1998) is also a good introduction to museum evaluation methods.

The evaluation processes used in museums are no different to those in general social and educational research, and any general methodology text is very applicable to refer to. When doing my doctorate I found Cohen and Manions' text Research Methods in Education (London: Routledge, 1994) the most useful as it outlines a huge range of methods/approaches that can be used in evaluation.