ERIC Number: ED160499
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Measuring the Immeasurable: A Pilot Study of Museum Effectiveness.
The report describes a one-year pilot study of museum effectiveness conducted at the Franklin Institute Science Museum and Planetarium in Philadelphia. The study was intended to develop models for testing visitor response, provide useable information to museum staff, and test the feasibility of a large-scale investigation of science museums. Numerous tests and questionnaires were administered to visitors in an attempt to assess motivation for the visit, visitors' interests, exhibit preferences, orientation, attitude change, and information transfer. Results showed that the Franklin Institute audience consists primarily of groups, especially families and school classes. The average visitor leaves the museum knowing over half of the tested information content of the exhibits. Attitude toward the museum appeared to be negatively affected by building construction at the time of the study. Most of the visitors showed a favorable attitude toward science, scientists, and technology. A project to orient visitors to the museum's structure and contents produced more favorable attitudes and higher knowledge scores. Effectiveness of exhibition in terms of complexity, background colors, and participatory devices was also measured. The report concludes with a discussion of implications of the study and a bibliography of over 40 resources. (Author/AV)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Attitude Change, Educational Assessment, Educational Environment, Educational Facilities, Educational Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, Knowledge Level, Measurement Techniques, Museums, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Public Opinion, Research Design, Research Methodology, Retention (Psychology), Science Facilities, Scientific Concepts, Social Science Research, Technology, Use Studies
Association of Science-Technology Centers, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 811, Washington, D.C. 20037 ($5.00 members, $8.00 nonmembers)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Franklin Inst., Philadelphia, PA.
Note: Photographs on pages 29-30 may not reproduce clearly in hard copy