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Research Design

Pulling back the curtain on evaluation and research design, highlighting the process and methodologies we use in our work as researchers every day.

In my first post in this IRB 101 series, I described what IRBs are and why they exist (i.e., to protect research participants). In the second post, I focused on describing potential risks to research participants.  This third post defines criteria for human subjects research by breaking down the term “human subjects research.” Who are...
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In my first post in this IRB 101 series, I described what IRBs are and why they exist.  IRBs exist to protect research participants.  In this second post, I focus on risks to research participants.  What are risks to research participants? Risk is the probability that harm will occur.  All research involves some level of...
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Last week, I led an IRB 101 workshop for the Visitor Studies Association.  IRB is the acronym for Institutional Review Board.  That short three-letter acronym, IRB, can instill a lot of fear and anxiety in researchers and evaluators for multiple reasons.  For one, IRBs are an oversight organization, so non-compliance can have repercussions.  Additionally, the...
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As evaluators, our work depends on being able to gather data on and from museums’ audiences.  It probably goes without saying that this has become trickier in a world transformed by a global pandemic.  Museums and cultural organizations are temporarily closed, and we anticipate lower visitation (and different visitation patterns) once they reopen.  This makes...
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Upon commencing a study that requires intercepting visitors on the museum floor, we are often asked by staff (sometimes nervously), “Will people say yes to participating in a survey, interview, etc.?”  Our answer is always yes, and we often state that you would be surprised how many agree to participate.  Generally about 65 to 80...
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Since the reality of coronavirus set in back in March, our RK&A team has been having a lot of conversations about study design.  Museum closures and social distancing have greatly impacted the way we do our work as evaluators.  They have affected our clients, project timelines, data collection methods, and access to study respondents in...
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After a bit of a hiatus, we are back with a new post to our Evaluation Design series!  This post explores the use of incentives for data collection: What are they? When might you need to use them? And why are they important?  This topic is especially relevant considering the current COVID-19 pandemic because, as...
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With the new year in swing, I have jumped into professional development mode.  I was gifted a subscription to MasterClass and have been watching lessons on business leadership and strategy by Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney.  His advice and experience immediately resonated with me.  He relishes the solitude of morning hours to prepare for...
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Recently, I listened to the audiobook “Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men”—a must read/listen if you like data and are interested in UX design.  The author, Caroline Criado Perez, writes about a data gap that disadvantages women in many facets of their life.  One point that particularly grabbed me was the...
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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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