Susan Kistler on Evaluation in Informal Learning Environments

I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. Today, I am writing from the AEA Board of Director’s meeting being held at the Hilton Minneapolis. Why would you care? This is the headquarters hotel for Evaluation 2012 and it’s a lovely place – right downtown, lots to do within walking distance, restaurants galore, and an amazing group of local evaluators excited to welcome us.

Lessons Learned: Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with part of the exhibit evaluation and research team at the Science Museum of Minnesota – wow! I’ve been learning more about Museum Studies since our colleagues at the Visitors Studies Association hosted a week on aea365 back in 2010. The evaluators at the Science Museum of Minnesota have shared a number of their evaluation products online, from comprehensive exhibit evaluations to audience analyses, they offer great evaluation case examples.

Rad Resource – is “a resource and online community for informal learning projects, research, and evaluation.” The Science Museum of Minnesota shares its evaluation reports there, as do evaluators working internally and externally with many cultural institutions and other informal learning environments. There is an entire section devoted to sharing evaluations!

Rad Resource – Research2Practice: Perusing, I learned about the new resarch2practice website, still in beta, but busy developing a repository of short plain-English research synopses of current peer-reviewed research relevant to informal science education.

Hot Tip – Evaluation 2012: The Evaluation 2012 Call for Proposals went online earlier this month. We anticipate over 2000 delegates from around the world coming together in Minnesota this October. If you have work that is rich in opportunities for learning, please consider submitting a proposal.

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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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