Introduction to Audience Research MUS 588 ¢â‚¬¢ Winter...
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Morrissey & Owen 2009 • 1 •
Introduction to Audience Research MUS 588 • Winter 2009 Kris Morrissey, PhD Director, Museology Program 685.8207/ Morriss8@u.washington.edu Office Hours: Tues. 10‐11:30 & Fri 1‐2 Schedule through Lisa
Kathryn Owen Education Research Supervisor Woodland Park Zoo Office Hours: Weds 10‐12, Fri 9‐11
Class Time and Location Mondays & Wednesdays 3:30‐5:00, Johnson Hall 022 Readings Practical Evaluation Guide, Judy Diamond Visitor Surveys: A User’s Manual Research Design (3rd edition), John Creswell Selected Articles
Web Resources www.informalscience.org (archives and resources)
Visitor Studies Association archives www2.informalscience.org/vsa Shaping Outcomes Online Workshop http://www.shapingoutcomes.org/course/ http://www.astc.org/resource/visitors/index. htm)
Course Goals • Understand the role evaluation plays in
planning, facilitating, and assessing visitor experiences in museums.
• Describe and discuss the role of the most
common types of evaluation used by museums.
• Design an audience research study. • Understand and be able to use the
literature available about visitors.
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Overview of course This course is an overview of the field of audience research and introduces the basic functions, practices, ethics and literature. Audience Research enhances the experience of the visitor and advance the mission of a museum by providing data that supports knowledgeable decisions about programs, exhibits and other interactions with visitors. The course is not designed to fully prepare students to design and conduct visitor studies, but rather to acquaint them with basic concepts and principles and a range of ways to assess experiences. The course will not cover statistics or data analysis. The field of audience research (or visitor studies) is a growing and important field. Students interested in becoming evaluators are encouraged to pursue additional training.
Topics and Themes
Purpose of visitor research
Types of evaluation including front‐end, formative, summative and remedial
Development of instruments
Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods
Validity and reliability
Relationships and distinctions between research and evaluation
Ethics and responsibilities
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Assignments • 2009 • Draft
All assignments are due in drop box unless otherwise stated. Human Subjects Research 5 points Complete the online student course for Human Subjects research offered through University of Washington (CITI). You will have to first register and login in and then take the Student Course, estimated to take 30 minutes. Print and submit a PDF in the Drop Box. Due Jan. 12. www.citiprogram.org/ Evaluation Reports 15 points Read one evaluation report and submit a one page brief and give a five‐minute synopsis to the rest of the class including the primary research/evaluation question or goal, research site, methods, and results. Discuss whether you think the interpretation of the results is consistent with the findings and methodology (i.e. are the conclusions valid). We will hear two‐three reports each class with your date assigned. You will be stopped at the end of 5 minutes so do not dwell on details. One source for evaluation reports is informalscience.org. See Schedule for your date to present. Observing Visitor Behavior (Woodland Park Zoo) 30 points Complete at least 20 observations and trackings using worksheet developed in class and input into data file. Attach a brief reflection paper (three pages maximum) summarizing your findings and what you learned from this specific exercise both about the target of the observation and about the method of tracking.. Due Jan. 19. Survey 40 points Develop a short survey or questionnaire that includes 6‐10 questions for visitors. You may choose any topic and this can be part of your final evaluation proposal. Pilot test the survey with at least three individuals that reflect basic demographics of your target audience (can include friends, classmates). Include a one‐two page overview of the evaluation question you are addressing, audience, how the information could be used, what happened during the pilot testing, and your own reflections on the process. Include IRB compliance information. Due Feb. 9.
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Interview Questions 20 points The class will work together on a set of questions that could be used as part of a front‐end study for an exhibit on crows. We will develop the questions and analyze the results as a class and each student will complete at least two independent interviews with your notes submitted to the Drop Box. The results of our interviews will be used by the “Planning Exhibits for People” class, as they develop a plan for an exhibit on crows. Due: Feb. 16 Evaluation Proposal 75 points Develop a proposal for an audience research or evaluation study about a real scenario in an existing museum, zoo, garden or other site of informal learning. Identify an interesting and relevant question related to visitor behavior, learning, interest or other outcome. Develop a specific plan to answer the question. A strong proposal will be relatively narrow in its question with all activities aligned to answering the question. It might focus on an exhibit or program and might be a front‐end, formative, summative, remedial or other type of study. The proposal should include the following components (See page 20 of Diamond for more details.) You may choose to do this assignment with another student with approval from one of the instructors. Due: March 1
1) Background 2) Objectives (What is the question you want to answer?) 3) Brief review of related studies on the exhibit/program topic (if proposing a front‐end
study) 4) Timeline 5) Methods & rationale (type, surveys, interviews, observations, mixed methods) 6) Strong draft of one instrument to be used 7) Dissemination plan 8) IRB proposal
Participation 15 points Participation includes being prepared for class discussions, contributing ideas and/or resources, and supporting the goals of the class and the learning experience of your classmates.
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Grading Scale GRADE Letter Percentage 4.0 A 100 3.9 97.5 3.8 A‐ 95 3.7 92.5 3.6 90 3.5 87.5 3.4 B+ 85 3.3 82.5 3.2 80 3.1 77.5 3.0 B 75 2.9 72.5 2.8 B‐ 70 2.7 67.5 2.6 65 2.5 62.5
Scale determined by the UW Graduate School. A minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that is counted toward a graduate degree. A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for graduation.
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Course Schedule Winter 2009
Note: Please refer to class website weekly. Readings and class activities will be updated weekly.