Upcoming Topics

VSA offers opportunities for professionals and students to further hone their skills through webinars, web chats, book clubs, and virtual networking. Virtual learning offerings address a variety of topics in our field and provide helpful resources and strategies relevant to a wide range of practitioners. These offerings provide opportunities for audience engagement, and provide time for participants to ask questions. Members of VSA receive discounted registration to these events, so consider joining!

If you would like to make suggestions for future Professional Development topics, please contact [email protected]. For technical assistance accessing the hangout, please contact [email protected].

** All fee-based web chats will be recorded. Those recordings will be sent out to registered participants after the session (both those who joined live and those who did not). The slide decks and chat messages shared during the live session will not be made available since they should be interpreted within the context of the speakers’ presentations. Participants during the live session do have the ability to save the chat to their devices.

Upcoming JARFIG (Justice and Anti-Racism Focused Interest Group) Meetings:
Please join us for our monthly, informal conversations focused on the role of evaluation and visitors studies in supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within informal learning institutions, which may or may not have a strong justice or anti-racist stance. These conversations will be free and open to VSA members, non members are welcome to attend at a $5 registration rate.

Thursday, June 24 at 2:00pm Eastern
Funding Proposals and Partnerships
How do researchers and evaluators build on existing partnerships - or build new ones - through seeking funding together? What are some concrete examples of how to vision, plan, and collaborate on proposals authentically?


IRB 101 Workshop
Wednesday, June 23, 3:30 - 5:00 pm ET


Understanding Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements is fundamental knowledge for researchers and evaluators working in the United States and is also relevant to museum practitioners interested in engaging in research at their institution. IRB boards approve and monitor research to make sure that the rights of human subjects are protected. While the intentions of the IRB are clear, the purview and requirements for studies that must be submitted to an IRB are less so and may require researchers to make an informed ethical decision. The workshop content will equip participants to navigate this decision making.

Content to be covered in the IRB 101 workshop includes:

  • History for how IRB boards evolved
  • What constitutes human subjects research under the purview of IRB
  • Completing IRB applications for visitor studies research

After attending the IRB 101 workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Determine if IRB is required for an evaluation/research study
  • Use appropriate language when speaking with an IRB about human subjects research
  • Assemble information needed to complete paperwork for exempt and expedited reviews for commonly used visitor studies methodologies

The webinar will be largely lecture-style. The presenter will take questions throughout the session and will follow-up with participants about any unanswered questions afterwards. The slides, video recording of the session, and examples of completed IRB applications will be made available to participants as part of registration.

About the Presenter:
Amanda Krantz is the Director of Research and Practice at RK&A and the Lead of VSA’s Professional Development Working Group. She has more than a decade of experience completing IRB applications for visitor studies research. She has worked with university IRBs, school district IRBs, independent IRBs, and the Smithsonian IRB among others.

This workshop is $30 for VSA members & $45 for non-member