We are committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise with the goal of helping cultural organizations clarify, measure, and communicate their unique value in society. Here we list our work published in academic and peer-reviewed journals and other publicly available sources.
“Intentional Practice: A Way of Thinking, A Way of Working.”
Systems Thinking in Museums: Theory and Practice, 2017.
By Randi Korn
This book chapter describes how Randi uses Intentional Practice as a museum-wide strategy for achieving impact. The chapter dissects the Cycle of Intentional Practice, which has four quadrants—plan, evaluate, reflect, and align—that are situated around a nucleus, impact. Intentional practice applies systems-thinking to museum management and requires collaboration across the museum—for two reasons: 1) it takes everyone working together to achieve impact on audiences; and 2) collaboration bolsters professional learning and builds a culture of learning—an important outcome of intentional practice.
“Measuring Public Impact: Looking Back to Look Forward.”
By Katie Chandler, with Kara Blond and Shari Werb
This article explores how the National Museum of Natural History and RK&A analyzed 10 years of museum evaluation to build the institution’s accumulated knowledge by identifying and understanding trends over time. It also discusses how the framework RK&A and the museum developed will enable the museum to consistently measure the results of critical exhibition content, and explore the museum’s longitudinal impact on visitor attitudes and engagement.
This article first appeared in the journal Exhibition (Fall 2017) Vol. 36 No. 2 and is reproduced with permission. www.name-aam.orgFull Article
“Using Critical Appraisal to Inform Program Improvement.”
Journal of Museum Education, forthcoming 2017.
By Cathy Sigmond, Amanda Krantz and Theresa Esterlund
This article describes critical appraisal, a method applied by RK&A to help a museum’s education department make data-driven decisions about programming. It discusses the benefits and challenges of this method from the perspective of both the educator and evaluator to highlight its potential utilization for other museum educators.
“Making Sense of Things: Constructing Aesthetic Experience in Museum Gardens and Galleries.”
Museum & Society, 2016.
By Gemma Mangione
This article introduces the idea of “sensory conventions”—rules guiding what senses people use in a given space, and how—to explore how a major metropolitan art museum and botanical garden facilitate opportunities for multi-sensory engagement when working with visitors with disabilities.Full Article
“The Parental Role in Children’s Museums: Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behaviors.”
Museums & Social Issues, 2010.
By Stephanie Downey, Amanda Krantz, and Emily Skidmore
This article presents the results of audience research at a children’s museum in Philadelphia. The research focuses on understanding the parental role in a children’s museum experience. In particular, it identifies and explains three barriers to full parental participation.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Museums & Social Issues on 18th July 2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/ https://doi.org/10.1179/msi.2010.5.1.15 .”Full Article
“When Less is More.”
By Randi Korn
What if numbers of visitors, objects, programs, and exhibitions are no longer the metrics of success for museums? This article explores quantity versus quality, satisfaction versus meaningfulness, and national appeal versus local appeal in the context of what it might mean for a museum to do less with the intent to achieve more.
Reprinted from Museum magazine, September/October 2010, with permission from American Alliance of Museums.Full Article
“Rethinking Museum Visitors: Using K-means Cluster Analysis to Explore a Museum’s Audience.”
Curator: The Museum Journal, 2009.
By Randi Korn, Amanda Krantz, and Margaret Menninger
This article describes how the statistical procedure K-means cluster analysis can be used to deconstruct the complex nature of museum visitors.Full Article
“Achieving Mission through Intentional Practice.”
By Randi Korn
This brief article is a call to action for museum staff to work together to clarify their museum’s intent, align practices and resources to support the museum’s intent, and to engage in reflective inquiry to learn about the ways in which their museum is achieving impact.Full Article
“Transforming Museums—To What End?”
Transforming Museums Conference Proceedings, Seattle, WA, 2008.
By Randi Korn
This article suggests how museums might begin to address funders’ requests to provide evidence that museums are achieving their missions by first looking inside their organization and changing how they think about and do their work.Full Article
“A Case for Holistic Intentionality.”
Curator: The Museum Journal, 2007.
By Randi Korn
This article describes what it means for a museum to work within a cycle of holistic intentionality. When a museum carefully articulates its intentions in terms of impact; works within an inclusive, process-oriented infrastructure; and regularly uses reflective practice strategies, enabling all staff to continually improve their efforts to achieve impact, it is operating with holistic intentionality.Full Article
“Measuring the Impact of Museum-School Programs: Findings and Implications for Practice.”
Journal of Museum Education, 2007.
By Stephanie Downey, Johanna Jones, and Jackie Delamatre
Drawing on findings from research that examined a long-standing program at the Guggenheim Museum, this article identifies characteristics of a museum-school program that contribute to increased critical-thinking skills in elementary-aged students.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Museum Education on 2nd November 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/ https://doi.org/10.1080/10598650.2007.11510567 .”Full Article
“Visitor-Centered Exhibition Development.”
By Stephanie Downey
This article describes the various phases of evaluation in the context of exhibition development. Newcomers to the field as well as exhibition developers and designers may find it instructional.
This article first appeared in the journal Exhibition (Fall 2017) Vol. 36 No. 2 and is reproduced with permission. www.name-aam.org
“Studying Your Visitors: Where to Begin.”
History News, 1994.
By Randi Korn
The article introduces audience research and evaluation by describing the different types of exhibition and program evaluation. We thank the American Association of State and Local History for permission to reprint this article.Full Article