Questionnaires, post-it notes, online voting, marbles in a jar, focus groups, storyboards, one to one interviews, shaddowing, observations – all these evaluation techniques and more are useful to the museum practioner. It is essential to know from the start why and what you are evaluating and how you will analyse and use the results.
Evaluation should be done at the start (formative), during and at the end of a project (summative). It can be quantitative (numbers and hard data) or qualitative (opinions, feelings).
- Museum Accreditation: user and non-user consultation – practical guidance to help meet the requirements of Accreditation, Sarah Lewis, 2012
- Generic Learning Outcome and Generic Social Outcomes – methodologies for recording the learning and social impact of experiences developed by Inspiring learning for All
- First steps in evaluation – Heritage Lottery Fund guidance
- Evaluating your HLF Project – Heritage Lottery Fund
- Partnerships for Learning – A guide to evaluating arts education projects – Arts Council England, 1999
- Getting to grips with project evaluation – Frazer Swift, Museum Practice Issue 18, Nov 2001 [requires Museums Association membership login]
- Prove it! – introduction to a methodology for evaluating community projects, devised by nef consulting advocated by HLF
- Evaluation toolkit for museum practitioners – Renaissance East of England
- Friendly evaluation toolkit – National Trust
- http://www.inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk/resources/ – downloadable guidance, templates and other resources created as part of the Inspiring Learning for All programme to help compile surveys, run focus groups and much more
- http://www.visitors.org.uk/– the website of the Visitor Studies Group, a community of professionals who work in the field of visitors studies in a range of cultural and natural heritage organisations. It contains news, resources, links, notice of events.
- How to evaluate with schools – resources developed by Renaissance South East for the ABC of working with Schools
- Partnerships for learning: a guide to evaluating arts education projects – Arts Council England