Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not Set In Stone?

While I was reading Chapter 10 in Nina Simon’s book The Participatory Museum on the “Evaluating Participatory Projects”; I began to realize when doing interactive elements, evaluations, and even exhibits it is not always set in stone. Museum professionals can change the goals, objectives, target audience, communication between visitor and docent, the interpretations, and more in their institution. I just never really fully realized when doing an exhibit it does not have to be down to a “complete science.” Evaluations can be useful for all institutions, I just did not realize the different forms and outcomes there are when dealing with evaluations on the museum experience.

I was very interested in the continual evaluations Nina Simon discussed in the chapter. She stated, “Continual evaluation can also provide a useful feedback loop that generates new design insights that can ultimately lead to better visitor experiences.” (Page 316) So, my question is: When doing an exhibit or even a program should the form of evaluation always be the –continual evaluation- so there is that constant NEW insight each time? OR Should the evaluations have a permanent outline with the definite goals and limited outcomes – like the honeycomb diagram on page 304?

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