Data Visualizations: Year 1 Formative Evaluation (Oct. 2011)
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) received a NOAA-ELG grant for a three-year project, entitled Exploring Earth Systems: Expanding Data Visualizations Experiences for Museum Learners (or Data Visualizations). The project focuses on the development, testing, and distribution of Visualizations for the Earth and Bio content strands of the AMNH's Science Bulletins program. The Visualizations are short media pieces that use satellite data to tell the story of Earth processes on land, in the oceans, and in the atmosphere, with the larger goals of helping viewers to understand the dynamic and changing nature of Earth's systems. The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) is serving as the independent, external evaluator for the three year life of Data Visualizations. This report documents the findings from the Year 1 formative study conducted in September 2011, which focused on the Visualizations entitled Sea Surface Temperatures and Net Primary Productivity. These Visualizations were the subject of an initial formative evaluation in January 2011 after which they were redesigned by the AMNH team. The formative study gathered data from visitors to the AMNH using focus groups; visitors viewed the two Visualizations and provided feedback on the strategies used to display the data as well as the content. The appendix of this report includes the focus group protocol and questionnaire used in the study.