chapter  4
Research and evaluation
Pages 15

Korn has suggested that ‘evaluation’ is the systematic collection of data and information about the characteristics, activities and outcomes of an exhibition or public programme (educational or leisure session, event) that is useful in making decisions about the programme’s continuation or improvement. ‘Research’, on the other hand, involves the generation of new knowledge and the exploration of hypotheses, which, while not necessarily providing immediately useful information, does offer material for the development of theories (Korn, 1989:221). Both processes use the same methodologies: questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and observations, and, although Korn’s definitions are useful, in practice it is sometimes difficult to separate the two concepts. The major difference is in the objective of the work, in that evaluation is driven by the need for information for specific action in the short term, while research is stimulated by the need to know more for professional or personal awareness and for the development of conceptual frameworks (Munley, 1992).