Planning, developing, and evaluating eMuseums: Step-by- step handbook for museum professionals
Tara Jean Baillargeon, Kansas State University, United States
Doctor of Education, Kansas State University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to create a handbook that would support museum professionals through the stages of planning, creating, and evaluating a user-centered eMuseum. Planning, Creating, and Evaluating eMuseums: A Step by Step Handbook for Museum Professionals was developed using the research and development methodology (R&D) developed by Borg and Gall (1989). The seven steps in the R&D cycle used in this study included: (1) research analysis and proof of concept, (2) product planning and design, (3) preliminary product development, (4) preliminary field testing, (5) revision of the prototype, (6) main field testing, and (7) revision of the final product. A prototype of the handbook was developed and then evaluated by experts in digital libraries or museum informatics in the preliminary field test. Revisions were made to the handbook based on their feedback. The handbook was then distributed to museum professionals for the main field test. Feedback from the main field test was used to create the final product.
Major conclusions from the study were: (1) There was a need for a handbook to guide museum professionals through the steps of developing an eMuseum. Museum leaders indicated a desire to create a stronger online presence for their museums, but did not know how to begin the process. (2) The handbook was most useful to museum professionals. Originally, the handbook was intended for an audience broadly defined as “information professionals”, which included both library and museum professionals. (3) Museum leaders and community stakeholders could partner to create eMuseums. Stakeholders included educators who wanted to use eMuseums to incorporate standards-based curriculum into their classroom or graduate students in education looking for collaborative projects to advance their study. (4) Finding new ways to reach audiences was important to museum leaders. Museum leaders were aware that the majority of their visitors expected to find information about their museum on the Internet and wanted to find ways to reach these audience members. (5) Museum professionals found resources listed in the book to be useful. The handbook worked effectively as a reference guide for creating an eMuseum.
Baillargeon, T.J. Planning, developing, and evaluating eMuseums: Step-by- step handbook for museum professionals. Doctor of Education thesis, Kansas State University.
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