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research
We are looking forward to the upcoming 2018 Visitor Studies Association Conference, being held in partnership with the Association of Midwest Museums in Chicago. The conference theme is “Fostering Transparency, Strengthening Public Trust.” Three of our staff will be in attendance this year: Stephanie Downey, Amanda Krantz, and Cathy Sigmond. More details on what and...
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Recently, I was invited to speak about quantitative data for The George Washington University’s course, Evaluating Museum Learning.  My task was not to teach students how to conduct quantitative analysis, but rather, to help students become knowledgeable interpreters of quantitative data—whether encountered in their future museum work or the daily newspaper.  Based on my experience ...
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This week, Stephanie Downey and Amanda Krantz will present sessions at the NAEA National Convention, March 22-24 in Seattle, WA.  Amanda will share updates about the NAEA/AAMD Impact Study on Thursday, and models for conducting mixed-methods research on Saturday. Stephanie’s session on Saturday will explore various assessment practices and methods as an action research process, and how student learning can be shaped...
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Working in research and evaluation, you become very skeptical of words like “data-driven” and “research-based.” To evaluators, it is quite flattering that these words are so buzzworthy—yes, we want our research and evaluation work to be important, used, and even desired! However, even though these buzzwords grab attention, they can be misleading. For instance, when...
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In Reflection #3, Emily Skidmore talked about how you can’t rush measuring outcomes and advocated for slowing down and conducting front-end and formative evaluation to improve exhibitions, programs, and experiences prior to jumping into measuring outcomes.  I’d like to piggy-back on the slow movement and talk about Institutional Review Board (IRB) and school district review,...
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Over the years there have been pivotal moments in which we at RK&A tried something out-of-the- ordinary to meet the needs of a particular project that then became a staple in how we do things.  It wasn’t always clear at the time that these were “pivotal moments,” but in retrospect I can see that these...
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The quarter-century mark feels like the right time to take stock of where RK&A is, and at the very least, think about what we have learned along the way.  Reflecting on the past is a task that feels comfortable; we know where we have been, and we are familiar with the present.  Making sense of...
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Two weeks ago, I attended the Learning Value of Children’s Museums Research Agenda Symposium.  When I received an email from the project evaluator asking me about what most resonated from the first day of the symposium, I found that my most immediate thoughts had nothing to do with children’s museums, despite the many interesting conversations...
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In July, we moved our office.  Even though we were just moving across the street, moving is moving.  Books, articles, reports, journals, files (I’m not paperless as much as I try), drawer contents—everything needed to be boxed and labeled.  Intentionally, I had accumulated articles that filled two large file drawers—all the ones I collected in...
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I’m not a museum evaluator, but I play one on television; at least that’s what I tell people who ask me what I do for a living.  As the Business Manager at Randi Korn & Associates, I don’t have the educational or employment background of my colleagues, but I do have a long-standing love of...
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