At RK&A, we promote the lifecycle approach to exhibition evaluation because we know that when evaluation procedures are built into an exhibition’s lifecycle, the exhibition is more likely to achieve its goals and intended outcomes. We advocate conducting evaluation at multiple stages during an exhibition’s development.
Summative evaluation for a mathematics museum
Museum of Mathematics (MoMATH) New York, NY
We conduct front-end evaluation after concept development to inform project teams on how the public thinks about their ideas and content. Front-end evaluation helps teams understand their audiences in the context of the subject matter. During design development, we conduct formative evaluation with prototypes to test interpretive ideas and components for their functionality and ability to communicate content.
Upon request, once the exhibition is complete, we might also conduct remedial evaluation. Remedial evaluation is useful for teams that want to troubleshoot problems before a project’s final assessment. Summative evaluation, also conducted after an exhibition is completed, determines an exhibition’s overall successes and shortcomings and examines outcomes against the exhibition's intentions.
Exhibition evaluation is a process and tool that guides exhibition teams’ decisions and actions. We provide clients with reports that explain the findings, and we like to help staff transfer recommendations from words and ideas into action and change in our Reflection workshops all in an effort to provide visitors with the best experience possible.
We recently conducted exhibition evaluations at the following organizations. (For a complete list of RK&A planning, evaluation, and research projects, please see All RK&A Clients.)
For more information or to get started on an exhibition evaluation, please see Getting Started.