2011 VSA Call for Workshop Proposals

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					                                  Call for Workshop Proposals

                        Sustaining a Community of Learners
                                         Chicago, Illinois
                                           July 23-27
                                       Palmer House Hotel

We need your expertise!
The Visitor Studies Association Professional Development Committee is requesting proposals
for workshops to be held in conjunction with this year’s annual conference. We seek workshop
leaders from a broad range of fields to present half-day or full-day sessions that are lively,
interactive, and offer participants the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills in
studying or enhancing the experiences of visitors in a wide range of institutions. This year, pre-
conference workshops will be held on Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24, 2011.

What might you offer?
Suitable topics relate to the field of visitor studies and cover content such as: questionnaire
design; interviewing techniques; surveying on the web; or unique qualitative and quantitative
methodologies. Specifically, last year conference attendees requested topics including:
dissemination strategies, reporting findings, advanced statistics, and beginner survey design. All
workshops should provide participants with background information (e.g. a bibliography) and
should address, where appropriate, ethical considerations and sensitivity to diverse audiences.

The details…
VSA is excited to announce that the 2011 meeting will be a joint conference with the
Association of Midwest Museums (AMM). We plan to provide a diverse workshop slate to meet
the needs of newcomers, including AMM attendees, as well as experienced evaluators. As such,
each of the workshops needs to be clearly tailored to either a beginner (101) level or an
intermediate/advanced (301) level.

We encourage workshop presenters to consider offering half-day workshops, or to structure
full-day workshops into two half-day workshops, one with a 101 focus and the other with a 301

As always, workshops should also address at least two Visitor Studies Professional
Competences (see page 3).

                           Deadline for Submission: November 29, 2010

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                                                2011 Workshop Proposal
                                   Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2011 Visitor Studies
                                   Association conference. Please use this form to submit your workshop
                                   proposal. When completed, please submit your proposal as an attachment
                                   (Word format preferred) via e-mail to Tammy Messick (
                                   or Victor Yocco (

                                        The deadline for submission is November 29, 2010.

Title of workshop

Workshop duration                Half day (3 hours)                        Maximum #
(Check one)                      Full day (6 hours)                        of
                                 Flexible (i.e., Full day of instruction   participants:
                                 that could be split into two half-day

Audience:                          Experience Level                                  Audience
Check the most                   101 (Beginner)                                  Evaluator
appropriate audience             301 (Advanced)                                  Researcher
type and experience              101 and 301 (i.e., If a “full day”              Program/Exhibit Staff
level for your                   workshop will be offered in two
workshop.                        parts, OR if the workshop is
                                 appropriate for both levels)

Site requirements                Classroom/Meeting Room
(Check one)                      “Museum” setting (for visitor interviews, observations)
                                 Other (please specify):

Equipment: A flip chart and an LCD projector are supplied free of charge.
Please list additional equipment/supplies needed from VSA (costs to be absorbed by workshop

Have you presented this workshop in the past? If YES:
What feedback, if any, did you receive?:

                                              Page 2 of 5
                                  VSA Professional Competencies
Check at least two competencies that your workshop will address (see competency descriptions
     Competency A. Principles and Practices of Visitor Studies
     All professionals involved in the practice of visitor research and evaluation should be familiar with the
     history, terminology, past and current developments, key current and historic publications, and major
     contributions of the field. Visitor studies professionals should also be familiar with major areas that have
     relevance to visitor studies, including evaluation, educational theory, environmental design,
     developmental psychology, communication theory, leisure studies, and marketing research.

     Competency B. Principles and Practices of Informal Learning Environments
     All individuals who engage in visitor research and evaluation must understand the principles and practices
     of learning in informal environments, the characteristics that define informal learning settings, and an
     understanding of how learning occurs in informal settings. An understanding of the principles, practices,
     and processes by which these experiences are designed or created is required in order to make intelligent
     study interpretations and recommendations.

     Competency C: Knowledge of and Practices with Social Science Research and Evaluation
     Methods and Analysis
     Visitor studies professionals must not only understand but also demonstrate the appropriate practice of
     social science research and evaluation methods and analysis. These include: Research design;
     Instrument/protocol design; Measurement techniques; Sampling; Data analysis; Data interpretation;
     Report writing and oral communication; Human subjects research ethics; and Research design,
     measurement, and analysis that shows sensitivity to diversity and diversity issues.

     Competency D: Business Practices, Project Planning, and Resource Management
     Visitor studies professionals must possess appropriate skills for designing, conducting, and reporting visitor
     studies and evaluation research. Professionals should demonstrate their ability to conceptualize a visitor
     studies or evaluation research project in a context of informal learning institution management and
     administration (i.e., scheduling, budgeting, personnel, contracting).

     Competency E: Professional Commitment
     Visitor studies professionals should commit to the pursuit, dissemination, and critical assessment of
     theories, studies, activities, and approaches utilized in and relevant to visitor studies. Through conference
     attendance and presentations, board service, journals and publications, and other formal and informal
     forums of communication, visitor studies professionals should support the continued development of
     visitor research and evaluation.

                                                   Page 3 of 5
Please be advised that contact information below will be used exactly as it is written for the conference

Primary Contact person for
proposal (name and job
(name and address)
Telephone:                          Fax:                       Email:

Brief description of workshop leader’s experience or qualifications (100 words or less):

Co-presenter #1
(name and job title/position)
(name and address)
Telephone:                          Fax:                       Email:

Brief description of workshop co-presenter’s experience or qualifications (100 words or less):

Co-presenter #2
(name and job title/position)
(name and address)
Telephone:                          Fax:                       Email:

Brief description of workshop co-presenter’s experience or qualifications (100 words or less):

submitted by:
Date submitted

Please provide a description of the workshop in the space below (approximately 1-2 pages) that
   What knowledge and skills participants will gain
   How two or more professional development competencies will be addressed
   How those skills will benefit participants’ work, and
   How the workshops will be conducted, including an approximate timeline and structure of the workshop,
    activities during the workshop (what will participants do?).

                                                 Page 4 of 5
Please provide a 150 word abstract for use in a Conference Program in the space below.
VSA reserves the right to edit descriptions for the final program.

Proposal reviewers will use the following criteria to provide feedback on each proposal. A summary of
strengths and weaknesses and, where appropriate, suggestions for improvements will be sent with
your acceptance notification.

               Clarity of ideas: The proposal is well-written, well-organized, and easy-to-follow.
               Learning objectives: The proposal outlines useful and realistic learning objectives and
                includes two or more professional development competencies.
               Relevance: The proposal touches on issues that are important to potential VSA
                conference attendees and will likely attract an audience.
               Workshop design: The proposed workshop design/curriculum uses a variety of teaching
                and/or learning techniques that are engaging, educational and fun.
               Qualifications of workshop leader(s): The workshop leader(s) are well qualified to
                conduct their proposed workshop, demonstrated through their training, academic
                background, and/or professional experience.
               Embedding of workshop into the broader context: The workshop discusses multiple
                perspectives and provides participants with resources for further study (e.g. a literature
               Cultural sensitivity: The workshop acknowledges and addresses diverse audiences, and is
                useful for professionals from a wide range of institutions.
               Ethical considerations: Where appropriate, the workshop will address ethical issues
                (human subjects, data collection and privacy, etc.).

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Tammy Messick or Victor Yocco at For general information about the Visitor Studies Association Conference 2011, visit, or email

Workshop leaders will receive:
    50% of their workshop’s registration income (less expenses) up to $800 for a full day workshop
      and $400 for a half day workshop. Once enrollment passes the VSA minimum of 5 participants,
      the workshop is confirmed. Each workshop must enroll a minimum of 5 to go ahead.
      Workshops that have less than 5 will be cancelled. Workshops that have more than 5 will
      receive a minimum of $200 for a full day workshop and $100 for a half day workshop.
    One complimentary conference registration for full- and two-day workshops. Half-day workshop
      presenters receive 50% off their conference registration fees.

                Notification of decisions will be sent to all applicants in mid January, 2011.

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