VSA offers opportunities for professionals and students to further hone their skills through webinars that address specific topics under the direction of a skilled presenter. Many of our webinars are organized in collaboration with the Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC). These webinars address challenges in our field and provide helpful resources and strategies relevant to a wide range of practitioners. Many webinars provide opportunities for audience engagement, and all webinars provide time for participants to ask questions of the presenters. Members of both VSA and ASTC receive discounted registration to these events, so consider joining!

If you have ideas or suggestions for future PD events, please let us know at [email protected].

Upcoming Webinars

VSA’s Zoo & Aquarium Focus Interest Group (ZAFIG) Virtual Mini Conference!
August 26, 2020, 4:00pm EST/1pm PST - 5:30pm EST/2:30pm PST 

Register Here

While we can't meet in person this year, VSA’s Zoo and Aquarium Focused Interest Group (ZAFIG) wanted to provide a virtual opportunity for our community to present work being done in zoos and aquariums from the past year. Focusing on hot topics in the zoo-aquarium field, this conference-like web chat will include 5 mini-sessions that allow for sharing, learning, and dialogue. Our exciting slate of presentations includes:

  • The Impact of Human-animal Imagery on Public Attitudes Towards Zoos and Wildlife- Meghan Shaw, Zoos Victoria and Deakin University
  • Community Co-Design of Educational Programming with an Undeveloped Zoological Park- Amy Niedbalski, Saint Louis Zoo, Director, Conservation Audience Research & Evaluation (CARE)
  • Exploring the Relationship Between Empathy for Animals and Environmental Self-Efficacy in Zoo and Aquarium Visitors, Linnea Johnson, M.A. Museology and Emerging Zoo & Aquarium Evaluator and Communicator
  • Community Engagement through Facebook Live During a Worldwide Pandemic- Nichole Nageotte, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Conservation Education Researcher
  • Cracking Open Old Reports: Revisiting Past Data to Guide Future Directions-Emily O’Hara, Detroit Zoological Society, Curator of Exhibit Design

This VSA web chat is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Sign up for the convening HERE.


Past Webinars

All webinar attendees receive access to the webinar recording as part of their registration. You can also gain access to most webinar recordings by paying a $25 fee via the ASTC website.

Google Analytics 101: Understanding Your Visitors’ Behavior Online

Thursday, May 21
Recording coming soon...

Learn ways that Google Analytics can help you uncover insights into your website visitors and app users.


  • Elizabeth Bolander, Director of Audience Insights at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Sewon Barrera, Manager of Digital Marketing at the Exploratorium
  • Sandra Kaiser, Digital Learning Tools Manager at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will share examples of how they use it to understand visitor behavior online.


  • Elizabeth will start by sharing a step-by-step look at some of the most popular and basic Google Analytics features that the Cleveland Museum of Art team utilizes in their work monitoring websites and the ArtLens App.
  • Sewon will share key Google Analytics tips to analyze and curate visitor experience on a museum website.
  • Sandra will discuss a case study of how analytics has guided content and production work for online resources at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Participants will also have a chance to swap ideas for other potential Google Analytics uses to inform visitor studies and ask questions of the panelists.



Culturally Responsive Visitor Studies: An Interactive Workshop with Dr. Katrina Bledsoe - February 12, 2020

Join the Visitor Studies Association (VSA) for an interactive webinar focusing on the considerations and potential challenges relating to cultural responsiveness within the evaluation process. Dr. Katrina L. Bledsoe, a leader and expert on issues surrounding cultural responsiveness and equity-focused evaluation, will present this virtual workshop, providing examples from her professional experience. Participants will work together to think about how evaluators and informal learning professionals can identify and address the culture and context that exist within the evaluation process. Participants will also have the opportunity to think about how they can integrate cultural responsiveness into evaluation practice. 

Key Ingredient: Recruiting, Training, & Nurturing Volunteers - November 8 & 15, 2018
This two-part webinar dives into strategic approaches for successful engaging volunteers - from recruitment, to training, to long-term management and growth. Lead presenter Fran Mast of the Shedd Aquarium brought her years of experience organizing volunteers to provide practical advice and answer the concerns of participants. Many of the techniques and resources shared via this webinar are relevant not just to research and evaluation volunteers, but volunteers in a number of fields and organizations.

Keeping It Real: Tracking the Duration and Allocation of Visitors' Time in Exhibitions - April 27, 2017
Beverly Serrell, one of the foremost experts and literally the woman who wrote the book on Timing and Tracking, led this interactive webinar that provides an introduction to timing/tracking methods. Webinar participants engaged in hands-on use of these methods by walking through an imaginary exhibit, providing data, and observing techniques for analysis using spreadsheets, histograms, scattergrams, and heat maps.

Representing Diversity: Advocating for Inclusive Development and Evaluation - February 25, 2015
Including diverse perspectives is a critical component of strong evaluation, whether you are examining the impacts of an educational program, or any other type of learning experience. This webinar provides guidance on planning for an effective and culturally-responsive evaluation and also examines the costs of not taking diverse perspectives into account.

Back to School: Techniques and Tips for Evaluating School Group Experiences - September 24, 2014
This webinar explores concrete ways to evaluate school group visit experiences to institutions of informal learning (such as museums, zoos, and aquariums). The methods discussed are designed to get the most valuable feedback possible.