The Development of a Standardized Assessment Framework for Animal Exhibits
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© 2019, © 2019 Visitor Studies Association. Science centers, zoos, and aquariums share the common goal of engaging visitors in learning about the physical and natural world. Exhibits in zoos and aquariums, however, focus primarily on living organisms. Interactive exhibits are less common in these institutions and this differentiates the way visitors engage with exhibits from that of a typical science center visit. Based on the usefulness of the Visitor-Based Learning Framework (Barriault & Pearson, 2010) as an exhibit assessment tool in science centers, the purpose of this research was to develop a similar tool that assesses the potential learning impact of live animal exhibits in zoos and aquariums. A comprehensive framework of learning-related behaviors was developed and field-tested with a total of 900 visitors. The resulting Visitor-Based Assessment Framework for Animal Exhibits provides zoo and aquarium researchers and practitioners with a valuable tool to assess exhibits through observable behavioral indicators.
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Barriault, Chantal Lise (2014)The purpose of this research was to devise an assessment tool to effectively capture the nature of visitors' learning experiences with live animal exhibits in zoos and aquaria. A comprehensive learning framework was ...
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