2019 Conference Sessions

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, July 11, 2018, to Saturday, July 13, 2019

Online registration is open.

To learn more about the 2019 VSA  Annual Conference Sessions, download the Conference Abstract.

Thursday Sessions - July 11, 2019

Retrospective Pre-Posttests: When and How to Use This Cool Tool 
Melanie Hwalek, PhD, SPEC Associates; Cassandra Filer, John G. Shedd Aquarium

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
There are visitor studies contexts where Retrospective Pre-Posttest (RPT) methodology is preferred over traditional pre-post testing for measuring program outcomes. Participants will learn about the research on RPT, see examples of RPT design options, and explore ways to analyze RPT data to get the most out of this cool tool.

Human Health Changes Associated with an Experience at a Zoo
Amy Niedbalski, Saint Louis Zoo
Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm
We conducted a multi-departmental project in which two hundred Zoo visitors provided physiological (blood pressure and cortisol) and psychological (mood) data, before and after their visit to an immersive, naturalistic exhibit, in order to evaluate health-related responses. The study procedure, results and implications to the field will be discussed.

Studying Touch As Way of Knowing in the Art Exhibition
Dimitra Christidou, PhD, and Palmyre Pierroux, University of Oslo

Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm
This paper presents observation methods and findings from a larger study that investigated how visitors haptic interactions with five original sculptures made in stone enter into their interpretive processes. We will discuss the touch patterns identified through the data analysis and consider their role in visitors’ meaning-making.

Ways of Seeing, Ways of Understanding
Luise Reitstatter, University of Vienna

Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm
The stereotype of seeing art is a viewer in front of a painting. Breaking with this ideal of contemplation, the paper presents findings from the study Belvedere Before and After. By contrasting data from mobile eye tracking and subjective mapping correspondences between ways of seeing and understanding will be shown.

Data Collection, Data Management, Data Analysis, Oh My! Training Videos for Evaluation in Informal Learning Environments
Karen Peterman and Kim Kiesewetter, Karen Peterman Consulting Co,; Jane Robertson Evia, Virginia Tech

Hands-On Workshop
10:45am - 12:00pm
This workshop style session will share a series of short training videos and related resources that were created for practitioners who need a refresher on evaluation practices for themselves, or those who need off-the-shelf resources that can be used to train volunteers and docents in basic evaluation methods.
 

Measuring Learning of Complex Topics: Challenges and Successes Explored
Zdanna King and Evelyn Ronning, Science Museum of Minnesota

Roundtable
10:45am - 12:00pm
Learning about complex topics like evolution, climate change, or big data can be difficult to measure in informal environments where we have the pressure to avoid upsetting visitors. Bring examples and challenges from your own work for discussion and hear more about measuring evolution learning in the Theatrical Gaming project.


Studying Intangible Dimensions of Learning: Are We "Effing" the Ineffable?
Sarah May and Becki Kipling, Museum of Science, Boston
Roundtable
10:45am - 12:00pm
Intangible dimensions of knowledge, like emotion or imagination, have been debated for centuries. Emotion is pitted against rationality. Imagination against reality. However, both arguably impact knowledge construction. This roundtable discussion will unpack these tensions, asking participants to reflect on the current limits of research, evaluation, and design addressing such constructs.


Seeing Through Multiple Lenses: Bridging Indigenous and Western Evaluation Worldviews
Jill Stein, JKS Consulting; Dr. Shelly Valdez, Native Pathways; Dr. Nicky Bowman, Bowman Performance Consulting
Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
While visitor studies seek to understand diverse experiences and perspectives, the way in which we approach evaluation can limit (or broaden) what we see and how we know. Based on years of experience bridging Indigenous and Western evaluation processes, this panel highlights key themes and lessons learned through specific examples.

Building Institutional Capacity and Cultures of Evaluation: Views and Lessons from Diverse Institutions
Brooke Rosenblatt and Matthew Lasnoski, Freer | Sackler; Pei Koay, National Museum of the American Indian; Jessimi Jones, Philbrook Museum of Art

Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm
One size doesn’t fit all when building cultures of evaluative thinking. This presentation explores case studies about building internal capacity. We share our methods for addressing the evaluative priorities of our very different institutions: the National Museum of the American Indian, the Freer|Sackler, and the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Incorporating Experts' Narratives into STEM Inquiry Programs: Assessing Family Learning
Sue Allen, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance; Kim Koin, Chicago Children's Museum; David Uttal, Northwestern University; Kimberley Sheridan, George Masson University

Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm
Awardees from IMLS’S StemX program will share fresh perspectives on assessing learning in STEM programs in museums and libraries. All projects featured in-depth studies of learning during family programs where local STEM experts provided personal narratives to enrich the inquiry. We will share insights and invite discussion of applications to research, evaluation, and practice.

Ways of Knowing Detroit: Evaluation in the Motor City
Kate Livingston, ExposeYourMuseum LLC; Tracey Williams, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Diane Miller, Detroit Zoological Society; Kenneth Morris, Detroit Institute of Arts
Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm
This talk-show style session features Detroit-area cultural institutions (Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Detroit Zoological Society) sharing and discussing what is happening in local museum evaluation, where evaluation capacity is growing and needed, and considering the future through multiple perspectives and lenses.

How Stakeholders' Conceptions of Research and Evaluation Affect Utilization
Marie Hobson, Natural History Museum
Roundtable
1:45pm - 3:00pm
A major barrier to the effectiveness of visitor studies is an absence of a shared definition of research and evaluation amongst museum practitioners as well as a perception that social science and qualitative work is not rigorous. This session explores these findings and the implications for our sector.


CT without the Screen: Measuring Computational Thinking in Informal Education
Megan Goeke and Gretchen Haupt, Science Museum of Minnesota; Rachel Becker-Klein, Two Roads Consulting

Roundtable
1:45pm - 3:00pm

Formal education trends often serve as harbingers for informal learning. As Computational Thinking (CT) gains momentum in schools, museums will soon need to develop measures and tools to understand CT adapted for free-choice experiences. This roundtable invites examination of CT conceptualization and measurement in informal settings.


What Do You Do Again? Framing Evaluation for Museum Staff

Sara Davis, Saint Louis Science Center; Sena Dawes, Missouri Historical Society; Fran Mast, John G. Shedd Aquarium

Roundtable
1:45pm - 3:00pm

How on Earth do I talk about evaluation? Even if you have expertise in the field, getting staff on board with evaluation can be a communication challenge. In this session three internal evaluators, from three very different organizations, provide their perspective and demonstrate their responses to this question. 

Friday Sessions - July 12, 2019

Studying Visitors' Exhibition Experiences in a Virtual Reality Environment
Palmyre Pierroux and Rolf Steier, University of Oslo; Anne Qvale, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design

Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm

This paper presents the research design and findings from a study of visitors experiences in a full-scale physical, virtual and sound environment that was designed for an exhibition in an architecture museum. The paper contributes to studies of visitors experiential knowledge in virtual reality environments in museums.

Designing and Evaluating Soundscapes in Virtual Reality Exhibitions
Joran Rudi, Norwegian Center for Technology in Music and the Arts (NOTAM)

Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm

This paper contributes to visitor studies by presenting research perspectives and methods for understanding sound as a way of knowing in exhibitions. To illustrate how psychoacoustic principles may be applied as evaluation criteria, the paper presents findings from a study of a visitors soundscape experiences in an architecture museum exhibition.

Appreciative Inquiry - A Tool for Community Engagement and Evaluation Strategy for Organizational Change
Maritza Hernandez-Bravo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science; Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change; Rebecca Teasdale, Garibay Group

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) surfaces often untold stories of success, igniting hope and accelerating capacity for change by engaging the whole system, often including those on the margins in discovering, dreaming and designing organizations and ways of working that reflect and honor the whole. The session will provide a brief history of AI and how it is applied.

From Private to Public: Understanding Visitors' Perceptions of Pro-Environmental Behaviors
Jennifer Rigney, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Nadya Bennett, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium; Erin Cote, University of Washington Museology Program; Maia Werner-Avidon, MWA Insights

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm

Using case studies from three conservation-related projects, this session will share recent visitor research focusing on three organizations efforts to understand their audience engagement with a range of environmental action from private, everyday actions to public, collective action.


Come Together! Successes and Challenges of Building and Sustaining Networks

Nicole Reed, Woodland Park Zoo; Kari Nelson, Thanksgiving Point; Claire Thoma Emmons, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis; Nick Visscher, Denver Zoo; Alexander Lussenhop, Museum of Science, Boston

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
Panelists representing a diverse group of learning, research, and evaluation networks will discuss successes and challenges encountered in building and sustaining the networks at various points in their lifetimes. Attendees who have participated in networks are invited to share their experiences with the goal of identifying solutions to shared challenges.


Listen up! Kids' STEM-Focused Podcasts as Promising Family Learning Experiences

Amy Grack Nelson, Scot Van Cleave, and Juan Dominguez, Science Museum of Minnesota; Molly Bloom, Minnesota Public Radio

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
Kids’ podcasts are widely popular, but little research has been carried out to understand the value of this informal learning medium. Come hear how one research project has begun to build knowledge around families engagement with kids-focused STEM podcasts and how this new knowledge is being used by podcast developers.

Evaluation as a Catalyst for Equity
Cecilia Garibay, Garibay Group

Panel
10:45am - 12:00pm
This panel will discuss several projects that take different approaches to honoring and incorporating community voice in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of informal learning programs and exhibitions.


Social Learning in Exhibitions - Mind Your Brain! Exhibition
Kati Tyystjarvi and Heidi Rosenstram, Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre; Marilla Kortesalmi and Kari Halme, Laurea University of Applied Sciences  

Paper
10:45am - 12:00pm
Mind Your Brain! is an exhibition on the brain and brain health. Cooperation and interaction with others are particularly important for the development of the human brain. The entire exhibition is designed as a series of brain challenges for groups from two to five people. How does the social dimension impact the learning outcomes? To study this, Heureka and Laurea University of Applied Sciences started co-operation, using students to collect data and analyzing the data together. 

Building Capacity for Cultural Responsiveness in the Visitor Studies Field
Jill Stein, JKS Consulting; Evelyn Christian Ronning, Science Museum of Minnesota

Working Group
1:45pm - 3:00pm
Building off conversations facilitated by the Building Communities FIG at VSA 2018, this working group session will focus on developing an action plan around a few key priorities that emerged around building capacity for culturally responsive evaluation practices that embrace multiple ways of knowing and understanding the visitor experience.


Comparing Evaluation Methods From Midwest to Middle of the Ocean

Erin Tate, Saint Louis Zoo

Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm
Evaluating educational components of a conservation partnership in Saipan has presented both unique opportunities and challenges. Instruments used in local collaborations were modified to be facilitated by educators 7000 miles away with collection complete in 2018. This session will compare success of modified tools and discuss further steps for 2019. 

Becoming Renaissance Evaluators: The Expanding Role of Evaluation Beyond Galleries
Stephen Ashton, PhD, Thanksgiving Point; Megan Goeke, Science Museum of Minnesota; Rita Deedrick, COSI; Sarah May, Museum of Science, Boston

Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm
While evaluation for content spaces such as exhibits and educational programs are the bread and butter of visitor studies, some evaluators have also been asked to conduct a wide variety of studies about the operational side of museums. Come learn how to make the best of these operational evaluation opportunities.

Unplugged and Plugged Computational Thinking for Children: Research and Practice
Monica Cardella and Hoda Ehsan, Purdue University; Philip Cardella, Imagination Station

Hands-On Workshop
1:45pm - 3:00pm

This session highlights ways to promote computational thinking (CT) in children during informal learning experiences. This session consists of two components: (1) two presentations focusing on what CT is and how to engage children in CT activities, and (2) a hands-on session that features strong CT activities, toys and games.

Challenging Front-End Evaluation to Study Challenging Topics
Cat Scharon, The Field Museum

Paper
1:45pm - 3:00pm
This session will focus on two methodologies used to assess prior knowledge, attitudes, and interests of non-Native audiences for the Field Museums Native North American Hall renovation. An online survey used perceptions of discrimination for psychographic segmentation, while on-site interviews provided insight into preferred amounts of contemporary versus ancestral content.

Using Museums to Promote Cultural Identity Among Yemeni Students 
Marion Tate, Dr. Navaz Bhavnagri, and Marion Tate, Wayne State University

Paper
1:45pm - 3:00pm

The teacher applied a Vygotskian theoretical framework to an art and heritage museum project examining objects supplemented by art, literature, and technology, before, during, and after 4-museum visits to teach Yemeni students, ages 11-14 years, to promote cultural identity. Assessments included observation, documentation, and interviews over 1-school year.

The Great Outdoors: Visitors Studies and Evaluation in Outdoor Settings 
Kari Ross Nelson, Thanksgiving Point Institute; Michelle Mileham, Tracy Aviary; Nicole Rivera, North Central College

Panel
1:45pm - 3:00pm

In this learning-circle style session we will explore visitor studies and evaluation in outdoor spaces such as gardens, zoos, arboretums, and more. Presenters will share their experiences, successes and challenges, and then invite attendees to build on those as well as share their knowledge in a setting of open dialogue.

Bringing New Techniques and New Staff to Museum Audience Evaluations and From Report to Reality: Developing Design Principles from Evaluation Results 
Ramee Gentry, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hands-On Workshop
1:45pm - 3:00pm
How has the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum used audience evaluation as a catalyst for change, not only to its exhibitions, but also to staff participation in and support of visitors studies? This presentation and activities help participants learn about the approaches used and lessons learned as the Museum prepares for revitalization of its permanent exhibition.


Measuring and Aligning an Art Museum Distance Learning Program 

Erin Wilcox, RK&A

Paper
3:15pm - 4:30pm 
This paper presentation will describe a multi-phase, mixed-methods evaluation of a distance learning program from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The presentation will include obstacles associated with collecting data from minors in a school setting and findings associated with both the formative and summative studies.

Cultural Organizations Breaking Barriers: Leveraging Partnerships to Create Informal Learning Opportunities for Underserved Youth in Santa Fe
Kathleen Doll, Claremont Graduate University; Mollie Parsons, Sante Fe Botanical Gardens; Shannon Bay, Georgia O'Keefe Museum

Panel
3:15pm - 4:30pm

By sharing the informal education initiatives adopted by the Sante Fe Community Educators Network (SFCEN), the presentation explores informal museum education from four perspectives: museum educators, an external evaluator, the granting foundation, and education program participants, offering strategies to create cross-sector relationships and evaluate informal education efforts.

Shared Measures for Evaluating Common Outcomes of Informal Education Experiences 
Amy Grack Nelson, Science Museum of Minnesota; Karen Peterman, Karen Peterman Consulting, Co.; Ryan Auster and Alex Lussenhop, Museum of Science, Boston

Panel
3:15pm - 4:30pm

There has been a recent increase in the development and use of shared measures to evaluate common outcomes in informal STEM education. The presenters will discuss technical qualities of shared measures, benefits and concerns around their use, and go into detail of three shared measure initiatives.

Writing on the Wall: Centering Interpretation Around Visitor Access
Lauren Holley, Illuminated Ideas; Lauren Smedley, Lauren Smedley Design

Panel
3:15pm - 4:30pm

For many visitors, labels are the primary access point to interpret art, but is this technique visitor-centered? This session will share the results of two projects which questioned the purpose a label serves, what it communicates to visitors, and how to tailor this content to a wide audience.

Science Capital in Informal Spaces: Whose Voices and Whose Capital?
Monae Verbeke

Roundtable
3:15pm - 4:30pm

Focusing on two science capital research studies by the Institute for Learning Innovation and the Science Museum of Minnesota, this roundtable provides space for a broader discussion on a) the newly emerging theoretical concept of science capital and its utility for understanding informal science learning (ISL) and engagement; b) how thinking about science capital can address issues of broadening diversity in ISL; and  c) the opportunities and challenges for ISL, including the difficulty in measuring and evaluating this concept. 

Adventures in Teen Evaluation
Sara Davis, Saint Louis Science Center; Jennifer Borland, Rockman et al

Hands-On Workshop
3:15pm - 4:30pm

We are dedicated to providing lifelong learning experiences for our visitors. It is important to also turn inward and advocate for your own learning. There is a broad range of learning opportunities, if only you know where to look. This session unpacks and demystifies opportunities to support our continued learning and professional development.

Integrating Young Museum Educators' Perspectives in Studying Visitor Experiences
ChangChia James Liu and Katherine Culp, New York Hall of Science

Paper
3:15pm - 4:30pm
The study directly addresses the need of honoring and investigating stakeholders' perspectives in conducting visitor studies, and challenges the boundaries between museum educators and evaluators. The study also highlights the opportunity in career development for young museum professionals in STEM fields.

Classroom in the Garden: Assessing Student Learning and Behavioral Changes
Dr. Martha Brown, RJAE Consulting; Diane Robaina, Mounts Botanical Gardens

Paper
3:15pm - 4:30pm
The goal of this presentation is to demonstrate: how botanical gardens and can partner with schools and teachers to provide field experiences for students, how to align program goals with academic standards, and how to use pre-post tests to assess learning and behavioral changes. Additionally, we will discuss our attempt to determine if water conservation education had an impact on students’ own water conservation behaviors.

Saturday Sessions - July 13, 2019

So Where is the Magic in Museums? Spiritual Ways of Knowing
Kiersten F. Latham, Kent State University

Paper
9:45am - 11:00am

This paper offers a condensed distillation of evidence that museums should be acknowledging spiritual ways of knowing in their audiences. I introduce the emerging Spiritual Research Paradigm (2016), part of the contemplative turn in higher education, which provides both a platform for understanding and methodologies for gathering data. While these strategies are not developed for museum evaluation, they are ripe for informing and inspiring museums to be more intentional and inclusive.

Typology: A Crystal Ball to Map Visitor Behaviours?
Karl St-Pierre, Canadian Museum of History

Paper
9:45am - 11:00am

Typology is a common tool for visitor studies professionals working in museums. It simplifies the description of people visiting exhibitions or participating in guided tours and helps museums to better serve their visitors. In this session, participants will explore approaches to designing typographic visitor research. Specifically, the session advocates the idea of merging Cartesian and Empirical approaches to design research inquiries and develop useful typologies.

Trails of Walking, Ways of Talking: From Observation to Self-Reflection
Dimitra Christidou, University of Oslo; Luise Reitstatter, University of Vienna

Paper
9:45am - 11:00am

This paper introduces Social Meaning Mapping (SMM), a new methodological way of knowing about visitors experience by incorporating visitors own narratives into data collected through in-gallery observations. We will present findings from a recent study we conducted using in-gallery observations, followed by a short questionnaire on visitors background and SMM.

Coloring Outside the Lines: Lessons Learned from Experimental Programs
Chris Cadenhead, Pacific Science Center; Jessica Sickler, J Sickler Consulting; Ben Wiehe, MIT Museum

Panel
9:45am - 11:00am

Explore the challenges and breakthroughs of implementing and evaluating programs that ask, “What if we applied this proven model in a completely different setting?” From art museums training scientists, to science experiences deployed at the beach, we will discuss the unique aspects of moving successful programs outside of their comfort zones.

Inside Out: Digging Into the World of Internal Evaluation Departments
Elisa Israel, Saint Louis Science Center; Stephen Ashton, PhD, Thanksgiving Point Institute; Sena Dawes, Missouri Historical Society; Amy Niedbalski, Saint Louis Zoo

Working Group
9:45am - 11:00am
Calling internal evaluators! Do you lead a department, manage budgets, work cross-departmentally? Join evaluators from a science center, zoo, history museum, and multidisciplinary facility to discuss the joys and challenges of internal evaluation. Through small-group discussions and large-group activities, share experiences and identify new directions for VSA’s Internal Evaluators FIG.

Explore Value of Immersive Technology
Imfan Hoi, Woodland Park Zoo; Kathleen Finneran, Pacific Science Center; Fran Mast, John G. Shedd Aquarium; Stefanie Mabadi, Dig In UX

Panel
9:45am - 11:00am

As immersive technologies have been used increasingly in deepening visitors experience or showcasing findings effectively, significant questions remain on how immersive technologies can be best used to understand audiences attitude and behavior. This session is to explore insights on the values and impacts of using immersive technology in the field.

Lifelong Learning Starts Here: Prioritizing Your Own Professional Learning Opportunities
Kate Livingston, ExposeYourMuseum LLC; Michelle Maghari, Crocker Art Museum; Kirsten Ellenbogen, Great Lakes Science Center

Panel
9:45am - 11:00am 
We are dedicated to providing lifelong learning experiences for our visitors. It is important to also turn inward and advocate for your own learning. There is a broad range of learning opportunities, if only you know where to look. This session unpacks and demystifies opportunities to support our continued learning and professional development.
 

Lenses on Learning: How Study Design Shapes Interpretation of Results
Sasha Palmquist, PhD and Monae Verbeke, Institute for Learning Innovation; Eve Klein, Pacific Science Center/Institute for Learning Innovation

Panel
9:45am - 11:00am
How are opportunities for learning shaped by the complex interaction of context, design, and participant motivation? Three panelists will discuss the implications of study design on how analysis and interpretation are conducted and consider the ways in which adopting multiple perspectives can expand the usability and impact of our work.

Engaging with Community and Youth Advisory Boards
Ardice Hartry, The Lawrence Hall of Science

Roundtable
11:15am - 12:30pm

Community-based and Youth-focused advisory groups can help draw connections between community needs and museum offerings. In order to be successful, they require trust, flexibility, funding, and appreciation for different ways of knowing. In this roundtable, museum professionals discuss best practices for creating and engaging with community-museum partnerships.

Multiple Definitions of Success for Makerspace Evaluations
Rebecca Teasdale, Garibay Group

Paper
11:15am - 12:30pm

Makerspace activities are open-ended and self-directed, yet evaluations often measure success on predetermined, staff-identified target outcomes. This paper shares research on adult visitors definitions of success for a library makerspace and the relevance of staff-identified outcomes, raising questions about how multiple definitions of success can be incorporated into makerspace evaluations.

Design-Based Research that Integrates Researcher and Practitioner Ways of Knowing
Rae Ostman, Arizona State University; Marta Beyer, Museum of Science; Marcie Benne and Chris Cardiel, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Panel
11:15am - 12:30pm

With educators and researchers working side by side, design-based research (DBR) projects can develop educational materials and refine a theoretical model simultaneously. In this session, team members will describe methods and practices for two DBR projects, share lessons learned, and discuss how the work benefited from different professional perspectives.

Evaluation for Equity, Access, and Inclusion: the Evaluator's Role in Empowering the Visitor
Jessica Brown, Tracey Williams, Delisha Upshaw, and Jennifer Evans, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 

Roundtable
11:15am - 12:30pm

The Charles H. Wright Museum is currently undergoing a 3-year initiative to build internal evaluation capacity. Evaluation can include and elevate voices and perspectives often discounted due to systemic oppression, but evaluation can also serve to reinforce oppression and misrepresent communities. How can evaluation be used to speak truth to power, rather than to reinforce existing power differentials? How might we best utilize evaluation to further equity, access, and inclusion? This roundtable session invites participants from all fields to explore these questions alongside Museum staff.


Understanding and Measuring Engagement: Perspectives from Informal STEM Learning and Science Communication
Melissa Ballard and Jamie Bell, Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE); John Besley, Michigan State University; Kelly Riedinger, Oregon State University 

Panel
11:15am - 12:30pm
This interactive session will explore how interest and engagement are conceptualized and assessed in informal science education and science communication. We present themes from interviews with leading researchers and practitioners and share a suite of resources that we hope will advance related evaluative thinking in both fields.

Complex Collaboration: Lessons from a Longitudinal Evaluation Involving Multiple Stakeholders
Ashlan Falletta-Cowden, Falletta-Cowden Consulting; Jenny Flowers, Field Museum; Michelle Rabkin, The Chicago Academy of Sciences; Eliza Bryant, Big Shoulders Fund

Panel
11:15am - 12:30pm
Our panel will examine complexities that may arise from collaborations on longitudinal program evaluations that involve multiple institutions and stakeholders. We will delve into six topics using a case study and, through presentations and discussion with the audience, identify a series of best practices for addressing challenges in this area.

Observing Empathy in Museum-Based Engineering Activities
ChangChia James Liu, Susan Letourneau and Dorothy Bennett, New York Hall of Science

Paper
11:15am - 12:30pm
This study addresses challenges in assessing and understanding complex factors of STEM learning in informal learning environments, and demonstrates how integrating different stakeholders perspectives in visitors studies can benefit activity development and research design.

Thinking Like an Evaluator: Capacity-Building at Two Children's Museums
Aubrey Henriksen, Creative Discovery Museum; Jessica Sickler, J. Sickler Consulting

Roundtable
11:15am - 12:30pm

How do you build evaluation capacity?  This session explores how two children’s museums in Tennessee used different approaches to build an institutional culture of evaluation.  We will share the processes and tools used, then follow it up with audience discussion to explore how other institutions might apply similar strategies.


To register for the 2019 VSA Conference, click HERE.