The Museum conducts evaluations of its educational programs and exhibitions. Their structure and purpose vary. Formative evaluations inform program design, development, and implementation. Summative evaluations assess whether program or product goals and education expectations were met, and are shared with colleagues in the field.
Evaluations of larger scale initiatives are often conducted by external experts, with input from Museum staff. The Museum works with multiple independent firms with different areas of expertise, such as media and digital products, teacher education research, and professional development.
Sample evaluations of AMNH programs include the following:
This evaluation of the February 2008 3-day professional development Institute for the temporary exhibition, Water: H2O=Life provided an opportunity to evaluate a program in terms of a particular exhibition.
This report explores visitors' perceptions of the Museum's temporary exhibition "Water: H2O = Life" exhibition.
This evaluation was for a four-year (2003-2007) NSF-funded collaboration between the Museum and Lehman Colleges seeking to increase the number of certified Earth Science teachers in the state.
This evaluation was for a professional development event in February 2006 attended by 350 educators that was designed to acquaint teachers with the Museum's Darwin exhibition and its concepts.
The summative evaluation assessed the impact of the 2010-11 temporary exhibition Brain: The Inside Story on selected visitor groups and education programs.
This March 2006 report assessed how well this temporary exhibition exhibition conveyed to visitors a sense of Darwin the man as well as the impact an individual can have on the advancement of science.