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Reflecting on Work @ RK&A
This March, the RK&A staff gathered in DC for a company retreat—an opportunity for all of us to be together in one place and to mix a little bit of business and pleasure as we reflected on the past year and planned for the future.  One of my favorite parts of the retreat was our...
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While waiting to get my hands on Nina Simon’s newest book, The Art of Relevance, I enjoyed working my way through her blog, Museums 2.0.  I was especially touched by a pair of posts I’d read just before Labor Day weekend: (1) a “sneak peek” of The Art of Relevance; and (2) an honest, reflective...
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Last October, I joined RK&A as their newest Research Associate.  I was quickly whisked up into the world of evaluation, meeting with clients, collecting and analyzing data, and preparing reports and presentations.  As a busy period of late spring work transitions into another busy period of early summer work, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my first...
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Ever wonder what we do at RK&A or what it’s like being an evaluator? Cathy recently tackled those questions in a column for the Tufts Museum Studies alumni newsletter called “What’s My Job?,” where Museum Studies alums shed light on what its like to work in a wide range of careers in the cultural sector. Check out...
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One of the things I love about my job is the part where I need to find order in chaos, such as the trends in a large sample of individual in-depth interviews, and refining our processes for collecting and analyzing data in order to find that order more efficiently. I’d say that I have always...
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You can’t escape technology in museums. Visitors use smartphones to take pictures. Exhibits use touch screens and high-tech interactives to share stories and information. Programs use technology to help visitors engage. Everywhere you look there is a screen . . . until you encounter an evaluator armed with a clipboard and a pencil. I don’t...
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Effective and clear communication is a skill that all evaluators must master but sometimes those of us in the evaluation field forget that we may be speaking a foreign language to our clients. We become comfortable with acronyms like IRB or throw around names for data collection methods like surveys, focus groups, naturalistic observations, and...
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We are excited to introduce a guest blogger this week: Johanna Jones, former Managing Director of RK&A’s San Francisco office.  Having been with RK&A for 14 years, Johanna contributed greatly to the company’s learning, and thus, we are happy she agreed to reflect as part our 25 years of learning series.   As I think...
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I would like to dedicate this post to Alan Friedman, who passed away on Sunday. I wrote this blog post last week before I heard the news of Alan’s illness. In retrospect, it seems absolutely fitting that I honor him by telling the story of how I went from someone ambivalent about science to someone...
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As evaluators, we work with museum professionals to collect data around problems they are facing, and not so surprisingly, museums often face similar problems.  In my six years with RK&A, I have definitely seen trends, and certainly in RK&A’s 25 years, the company has as well.  For this reason, I sometimes find myself wondering whether...
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