Emerging Media Evaluation

phone with AR Pterosaur on screen Eozin Che

From evaluation to reimagined action: Adapting digital media in a COVID hands-off world.


Sickler, J., Wallace, J., Hammerness, K., Halderman, L., & Esteves, S. (2021). From evaluation to reimagined action: Adapting digital media in a COVID hands-off world. Exhibition Journal 40(1), 78-89.

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This article first appeared in the journal Exhibition (Spring 2021) Vol. 40 No. 1 and is reproduced with permission. www.name-aam.org.


Thought-piece article focuses on a recent evaluation of in-gallery emerging digital media (VR, AR, gestural systems, touch tables) and shares how a diverse team of exhibition designers, educators, and evaluators applied evidence from a pre-COVID study, in tandem with the creativity of museum professionals, to reimagine new ways forward in the current reality. This process involved internal and external evaluators facilitating discussions to uncover higher-level principles in the evaluation findings and imagine new applications of what was learned for this new, unfamiliar context. Rather than focusing on what isn’t possible with devices right now, the team considered larger questions about the characteristics of media experiences that visitors found impactful and generated ideas of ways to capture the experience with low- or no-touch technologies.

Using data from digital media for reflection during a time of change


Lentzer, M., Wallace, J., & Sickler, J. (2021). Using data from digital media for reflection during a time of change. Session presented at the Annual Conference of the Visitor Studies Association (VSA) online, July 15, 2021.


This session presented an external evaluation of five interactive digital media elements and the resulting process of sense-making undertaken by the American Museum of Natural History. With an emphasis on how participants might put pre-pandemic data to use in reimagining visitor engagement in uncertain times, presenters shared how the project team used this moment of uncertainty as a strategic opportunity to examine and find new meaning in these data, by considering how to apply what we know about visitor needs and preferences within an ever-changing social and physical landscape.

Emerging Media Formative Evaluation Report


Sickler, J. & Lentzner, M. (2020). Emerging Media Formative Evaluation Report. Prepared for the American Museum of Natural History. J. Sickler Consulting.


This external study by J. Sickler Consulting, LLC. explores findings from an evaluation of Emerging Media, which was undertaken in 2019-2020. This evaluation sought to better understand visitors' experiences with these media, how they use them, and the ways in which these media may help visitors learn about the content of AMNH exhibitions. By using consistent frameworks and instruments, the evaluation was designed to explore how five media function as part of the visitor experience. One central finding from observations and interviews is that visitors value interactivity, immersion, and information.

This evaluation report is available upon request. For more information, contact: Jamie Wallace [email protected]