Practical Evaluation Guide: Tools for Museums and Other Informal Educational Settings / Edition 2

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Overview

Administrators of museums and other informal-learning centers often need to demonstrate, in some tangible way, the effectiveness of their institutions as teaching tools. Practical Evaluation Guide discusses specific methods for analyzing audience learning and behavior in museums, zoos, botanic gardens, nature centers, camps, and youth programs. This new edition incorporates the many advances in the burgeoning field of informal learning that have been made over the past decade. Practical Evaluation Guide serves as a basic, easy-to-follow guide for museum professionals and students who want to understand the effects of such public institutions on the people who visit them.

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Editorial Reviews

Visitor Studies
It is timely that the second edition of the Practical Evaluation Guide has landed on our doorstep in a revised format, including two additional authors and updated case examples. As was the 1999 edition, the Practical Evaluation Guide is an essential resource for the beginning and experienced evaluator working in large or small organisations....Part 2 makes this book an invaluable resource. It is written in a user-friendly format, is clear and concise, again with many practical examples drawn from museums and other informal learning settings....An essential reference for anyone working in any area of museums and informal educational settings, not only those in evaluation and audience research.
E. Margaret Evans
This essential guide to evaluation in informal settings is now updated. Practical Evaluation Guide fills an important niche for first-time evaluators and seasoned professionals. The new evaluator can quickly pick up some basic tools and try them out, whereas the more experienced professional will find the expanded coverage on learning assessment and IRBs a useful adjunct in the current era of educational accountability. Highly recommended for evaluation courses in museum studies and similar programs.
Erika Shugart
Practical Evaluation Guide belongs on the bookshelf of every museum professional involved in exhibit design, production, or evaluation. This new edition takes into account the latest research as well as information provided by the National Research Council and National Science Foundation. A very welcome resource for the field!
Zahava D. Doering
The increasing emphasis on evaluation from government and private granting sources makes evaluation not an option - but an imperative. The revised Practical Evaluation Guide should be required reading by novice and expert evaluators, funders and grant recipients, and anyone who wants to understand the museum enterprise.
April 2010 CHOICE
Practical and thorough, this straightforward guide emphasizes that data alone, no matter how extensive, cannot substitute for careful planning and expertise in interpretation. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Richard Ponzio
An extraordinary book! This volume is a user-friendly roadmap for helping museum educators use innovative research tools to evaluate the success of their programs. Judy Diamond and her colleagues present assessment tools and strategies that allow both educators and participants to see more clearly what kinds of learning take place in informal environments. This book will be of great value to all teachers who want to expand their skills and satisfy their curiosity.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Judy Diamond is professor and curator at the University of Nebraska State Museum. Jessica J. Luke is director of research and evaluation at the Institute for Learning Innovation. David H. Uttal is director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences in the Department of Psychology and the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Pt. I Evaluating Informal Learning 1

1 Thinking through an Evaluation Study 3

2 Informal Learning 11

3 Measuring Learning 19

4 Protecting Study Participants 39

Pt. II Evaluation Tools 45

5 Selecting Study Participants 47

6 Observational Tools 55

7 Interviews and Questionnaires 69

8 Presenting and Analyzing Data 93

Pt. III Evaluation as Practice 109

9 Reporting Evaluation Results 111

10 Translating Evaluation Findings into Practice 119

References 123

Other Recommended Resources 131

Index 137

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