Course Description

460.621 - Evaluation Theory & Techniques for Museums

This course covers evaluation theory, methodologies, and practical implementation of evaluation in museums and similar environments. The class explores the stages of evaluation, what can be achieved at each stage, and how to work with clients. Students practice developing clear evaluation questions, developing a robust evaluation plan, choosing appropriate methods, assessing the benefits and trade-offs of different evaluation strategies and designing and refining evaluation tools. Emphasis is given to the opportunities and challenges of evaluating all types of museum experiences (programs, exhibitions, architecture, wayfinding systems, various interpretive technology, etc.) from multiple points of view, including museum visitors and museum staff. Hands-on evaluation practice will be gained through testing and refining observation and interview tools in a museum setting.