Hall of Human Life Summative Evaluation Report

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Resource Type:
Summative | Research Case Study | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey | Interview Protocol | Evaluation | Evaluation Reports
Environment Type: 
Museum and Science Center Programs, Museum and Science Center Exhibits
Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Adults | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators | Learning Researchers
Education and learning science | Health and medicine | Life science
Museum of Science, Boston, Boston College

The Museum of Science, Boston’s Research and Evaluation Department conducted a summative evaluation of The Hall of Human Life (HHL) exhibition. This 9,700 square foot exhibition is geared towards older children and adults. It is focused on human biology and human health with the main message, “Human beings are changing in a changing environment.” Visitors are able to use their own bodies and behaviors to understand biological mechanisms. Unique to this exhibition, visitors are able to use scannable wristbands to record and compare personal data with other Museum visitors to learn about their own bodies and behaviors. The summative evaluation addressed four questions: 1. Who is using HHL? 2. How do visitors perceive HHL? 3. How are visitors using HHL? 4. What are visitors learning from HHL? These questions were answered using a combination of timing and tracking, pre- and post- visitor surveys, and post-interviews. Results showed that HHL visitor demographics were similar, but not identical, to the rest of the Museum’s audience; visitors saw HHL as suitable for all ages, unique, and up-to-date; visitors used HHL in a similar way to other large exhibitions at science museums, and the wristbands, staffed “Exploration Hub,” and live animals were key exhibition components that contributed to visitors’ perceptions of and educational takeaways from HHL. This report also includes an exploratory sub-study related to how groups with young children interact in the space.

Team Members

Maria BarthMaria BarthAuthor
Katie ToddKatie ToddAuthor
Ariadne NelsonAriadne NelsonAuthor

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