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Xavier - Evaluation and Lessons Learned

This version was saved 10 years, 1 month ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Alicia
on February 27, 2011 at 6:09:01 pm
 

 Overview of project

    Why this project/the class

    The goals were:        

     1. Visitors will add their voice to the exhibition by adding words to the sequence.

     2. Visitors will contribute to connections by participating in a continuous photographic record.

     3. The majority of participants will take the Flickr URL with them.

     4. Visitors will visit the Flickr site to see how their word connects to others and see how other visitor's contributed.  

 

Evaluation methods

     Facilitator observation

          The facilitator, who was stationed next to the sculpture and was present to answer questions and take photos, used a paper chart to tally the number of visitors, groups, and participants. The facilitator's chart tracked the visitors' levels of interaction (walked by, stopped and watched, asked questions, participated) and their attitude (smiling, laughing, helping others, frowning, or ignoring). This observational method was unobtrusive and required no interviewing. Its faults and errors were due to lack of group consensus on what and how to count before beginning the project. Each facilitator tallied categories in their own way and there was particular confusion about whether groups should be marked as one participation or as though each member of the group was an individual participant. To see the charts, click here: Participation chart for Alphabet Soup with Xavier.Our final and most accurate measurement of participation therefore is the number of photos in the Flickr stream. 

 

Findings:

 

     Project participation

  • We did not get everyone to participate. A few people ignored us and the Xavier work, walking past us as though we meant to solicit something. Many more people stopped, looked and asked questions. Of those that stopped, some still walked away without participating. A few people walked away but came back later to participate.
  • Many of the people who stopped and asked questions seemed to be drawn in by the Flickr photos streaming on the computer screen. They often watched that to understand the activity instead of reading the instructions or to clarify our verbal explanation.
  • Many of the participants engaged positively with the activity - the majority smiling and/or laughing. Some even stayed after they had completed their word and photo to see what the next person would do or to see how their photo (once uploaded) contributed to the Flickr stream. 
  • Most participants understood the activity and were able to create a corresponding word, then were willing to have their photo taken (with the understanding that it would be uploaded to a publicly accessible Flickr photo stream).  
  • # of cards taken
  • Overall participation in relation to overally Henry attendance 

 

     Project Limitations:

  • The venue's attendance is low and, being on a university campus, the number of people who could have been drawn in as they passed by was dramatically reduced over the weekend.
  • The general attendance was very low on Sunday and may have been due to the fact that it was Superbowl Sunday.
  • The majority of the visitors and activity participants were friends/family of the group members or were fellow Museology students.  They had been personally been invited to the Henry and came specifically to support the project. We were unable to track how many visitors participated in Alphabet Soup with Xavier because they had an affiliation with class members as opposed to visitors who had otherwise heard about the project or those whose visits were unconnected to the project. 
  • Our data collection method was inaccurate and incomplete. As mentioned above, the Xavier group did not communicate clearly about data collecting before beginning the project, which led to inaccurate numbers - especially the mismatched counts of participants and photos. The data collection did not include a way to track which visitor engaged in which levels of participation (if the visitor stopped and looked, did they then participate or walk away; if the visitor participated, did they smile, laugh, help others or react neutrally). This rendered our collection of data regarding level of participation and attitude extraneous and useless. Furthermore, as the group member serving as the faciliator was often busy explaining the activity and project, taking photos, or uploading the photos to Flickr, there were times when marking down observations was sidelined or a visitor was simply missed. 
  • The flow of the activity was slightly confusing to potential participants because of its setup. With Xavier leaning against the wall on his left side, people were confused as to how the word chain should go (normally word bubbles read left to right; the statue and his placement dictated that they read right to left). Also, the statue's placement in a narrow space and our use of a tripod made the space slightly intimidating and formal looking. Visitors felt like they were intruding on the space or had to be too fully engaged in it (a couple of visitors expressed nerves over others watching or feeling as though they were in the spotlight).
  • The medium of magnetic paint on foam core posterboard was not the most reliable. The strength of the magnetic paint was weak (despite multiple coats) and it was a minor frustration to visitors and the facilitators that some letters would not stick or would fall off easily.  

 

Discussion

     what worked.  

          magnets were attractive/familiar to people

          moving screen of images was attractive

          different way of learning what was going on - more people seemed to learn best by watching a) others B) flicker stream c) instructions

 

     what didn't

          had to be heavily facilitated

          physically moving letters was cumbersome

          paint was weak

          words read "backwards" from right to left - people may have had difficulty when seeing actual set up.  then understood more when saw flickr.     

          people still may not have "gotten" the idea

          people still seemed to be nervous/shy or not inspired or not wanting to be participatory that day.

          camera looked formal

          tucked away space may have been intimidating

 

 

     Initial obstacles with the work and the gallery:

          be careful - everyone wants to touch him

          communication needed more time - took a while to straighten things out.

          they had information but wasn't processed til last minute

          short time frame - development was compressed - 4 weeks.

     what would do different

          some things.

 

 

 

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