On Monday, we officially kicked off our Building Evaluation to Advance Learning (EvAL) project with a workshop led by Dr. Jessica Luke from the University of Washington Museology program. Rather than jumping right in to create evaluation mechanisms, the workshop focused on learning frameworks in museums using Indianapolis, Providence, and Minneapolis as examples. Interspersed among Discovery Center staff were professors and graduate students from Psychology and Early Childhood Education departments at MTSU. Their academic and research leanings certainly made discussions more comprehensive and we look forward to working with them for the duration of this project. Moving forward, we will work with Dr. Jessica Sickler as we learn to research, think, and design like evaluators.
The overall goal of Building EvAL is not to turn Discovery Center into a research machine but is to help DC staff and stakeholders adopt an evaluator mindset. In doing so, we hope to see the sustainable growth of programs and exhibits, increased quality of content delivery, and better alignment with trends in informal education. The Building EvAL project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).