Evaluating what your organization offers its audiences is critical and no longer a best practice reserved only for well-funded institutions. History organizations of all sizes, even those operating on a shoestring budget, can and should evaluate their programs. How else will you know whether you are meeting visitors’ expectations and fulfilling your mission?
We’ll begin with a brief overview of what evaluation is and why it’s so important for history museums, historic houses and sites. Next we will look at the three types of evaluation and methods for using each followed by a discussion of a tried and true system for solving the big mystery of which questions to ask visitors when you are collecting data and feedback during an evaluation project. Finally, we will take a brief look at the standards and performance indicators in the StEPs program that apply to evaluation and what you can do to meet them.
Cost: $25 StEPs Enrollees/ $40 AASLH Members/ $65 Nonmembers (StEPs Enrollees need to use the special promo code found in the StEPs Community website to obtain the $25 rate)
Our guest speaker will be Conny Graft, Conny Graft Research and Evaluation, who has worked extensively with history museums and other nonprofits to help them evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and services. Conny previously worked as manager of research and evaluation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She is active in AASLH and the History Relevance Campaign and has served on the faculty of the Seminar for Historical Administration. Conny is co-author, with Stacy Klingler, of "In Lieu of Mind Reading: Visitor Studies and Evaluation,” as part of the Small Museum Toolkit published by AASLH and Rowman and Littlefield.
This webinar is part of the StEPs Lab series of online continuing education offered to both StEPs program participants and all others interested in evaluation. Applying what you learn in a Lab to your policies and practices helps your organization make meaningful progress. The more progress you make, the more boxes you can check off in the StEPs workbook. The more boxes you check off, the more Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates your organization earns. And that translates into more credibility, more support, and an organization that is a valuable asset to its community for many more years to come.