AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Dec/10

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Ioana Munteanu on Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Policy and Analysis

Hello everyone. My name is Ioana Munteanu, and I am a Social Science Analyst with the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Policy and Analysis. The Smithsonian consists of 19 Museums and the National Zoo; 9 Research Centers; and many other centers, programs and projects. Central to the Office of Policy and Analysis mission is to assist upper management at all levels in making sound decisions on improving the Institution’s exhibitions and programs for physical and virtual visitors and for stakeholders. Dr. Carole Neves directs our Office, which is composed of 12 skilled staff with diverse backgrounds, assisted by fellows and interns from both the United States and other countries.  Upon request we conduct formative, process and summative evaluations of both formal and informal programs and exhibitions that are offered on-site, off-site and online; the studies may be Institution-wide or focused on a particular Smithsonian unit, or department or program within a unit. The wonderful news is that over 100 of our studies are available online for FREE.  The link to our website is discussed below.

Rad Resource: Studies of visitors to the Smithsonian provide a glimpse into: who comes here for general museum visits and publicly available offerings, and answers why; how satisfied they are with their visit and what experiences they had; and what factors contributed to their satisfaction and experiences. These studies include formative assessments conducted during preparatory phases, as well as those looking at the output and impact of offerings. Staff employs a wide range of methodologies including, but not limited to: quantitative surveys—in person and online; qualitative interviewing; focus groups; observations; visitor tracking; and other methods such as card sorting or concept mapping.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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1 comment

  • Joshua Brown · March 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Very well-written Ioana…I especially loved your article about the Tuareg exhibit at the National Musuem of African Art…that intern you had must have been a bright guy…
    I miss everyone in the office and I hope you guys are having fun…

    Reply

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