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RECENT PROJECTS | Barbara J. Soren, Ph.D Education, Independant Consultant


Recent Projects in association with Lord Cultural Resources

Front-end evaluation for University of Michigan Museum of Natural History’s new home, expected to open in 2019, which the Museum will share with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ biology departments and research museums
I am involved as an Evaluator in a joint venture between Lord Cultural Resources, Taylor Studios, and Xibitz. The scope of work includes the planning, design, fabrication, and installation of exhibits and other related experiences and components for the Museum’s new home.

Soren, B., & Armstrong, J. (2014). Qualitative and quantitative audience research.  In B. Lord & M. Piacente (Eds.). The Manual of Museum Exhibitions, Second Edition (pp. 40-53). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield

Museum Computer Network (MCN)

Consulting services for MCN Community Survey (Fall 2011)

Museums in Conversation 2011 Conference sponsored by Museumwise and the Museum Association of New York
Discussant for three Focus on Value sessions related to museums as contributors to communities and as educational Institutions, Buffalo, NY, April 4-5, 2011
Follow-up White Paper,The Challenge of “Value:” Engaging Communities in Why Museums Exist

Visitor Studies Association
Annual Conference 2010
Program Co-Chair with Jessica Luke (Institute for Learning Innovation)
Building Shared Agendas: Conversations on the Value of Visitor Studies
Phoenix AZ, July 28-31, 2010

Volunteer for American Association of Museums Committees (now American Alliance of Museums): Program Chair, Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation (CARE) Standing Professional Committee (SPC) from 2007-2009; 2010 National Program Committee

Overseeing the formative and summative evaluation for “A Participatory Model for Integrating Cognitive Research into Exhibits for Children,” the Museum of Science, Boston, Discovery Center, NSF Funded project, 2007-2009

Evaluation services, which will form the foundation for measuring the impact of the traveling multi-media exhibition, Bridges That Unite, Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), 2007-2009

Draft Evaluation Plan for Close Ups, Seattle Art Museum, which consists of three components: in-gallery touch screen kiosks, an audio guide and an online collection. The purpose of the Draft Evaluation Plan was to lay out the necessary steps the New Media Manager and Manager of Interpretative Technology Programs should take to implement a project evaluation plan, Summer 2008

Audience-Based Performance Measures with Guelph Civic Museum, Wellington County Museum & Archives, Doon Heritage Village , & City of Waterloo Seagram Collection, 2002-2004
This project helped to give partners a better understanding of how to improve their exhibitions, special events, and programs, as well as build audience and greater self-reliance

RECENT PROJECTS - Science Centres

Audience research on collaboration and innovation for an Ontario Science Centre/Dupont Canada Inc. Innovation Project prototype of a ‘Garage’ experience, 2002 - now called Challenge Zone, this is a team-based, collaborative, rapid prototyping challenge that aims to stretch or ignite the creativity of participants

RECENT PROJECTS - Online Experiences

User review for Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA Collections Online, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of lacma.org and Collections Online, 2008 project.

Millions of Online Users Must Be Worth Listening to: Latest Evaluation Techniques and Results
Annual meetings 2006: American Association of Museums, Boston, MA (Friday, April 28th) and Museum Computer Network, Pasadena, CA (Saturday, November 11th)
-- Co-Chair with Diana Folsom, Manager, Art & Education Systems
Collections Management Dept., Los Angeles County Museum of Art
-- Panelists and positions at the time:
Sherry Hsi, Director of CLT Research and Evaluation, Exploratorium;
Jemima Rellie, Head of Digital Programmes, Media and Communications, Tate;
Phyllis Hecht, former Web Manager, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Evaluation of the Website, "Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities," part of the Cultural Education section of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage web site, July 2005

Research on 'Quality' in online experience for museum users, Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), 2002-2004. The goal of this research project was to ensure consistency through the content and interface of the VMC. The research explored what impacts 'quality' in online museum projects and how to measure quality through an analysis of 11 existing online museum products in the VMC portal.
Soren, B.J. (2005). Best practices in creating quality online experiences for museum users (with Canadian Heritage Information Network), Museum Management and Curatorship, 20(2), 131-148

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto (OISE/UT) research project, Developing and Evaluating 'Quality' On-line Visitor Experience. This research project also provided funding to help with front-end, formative, and summative evaluation for the Textile Museum of Canada & Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art's online exhibition, Cloth and Clay: Communicating Culture, 2001-2002

RECENT PROJECTS - Healthcare Facilities

St. Michael's Hospital (SMH), Toronto
Qualitative research for SMH-Wings of Hope Personalized Multifaceted Care Plan project,

Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) IBD Centre of Excellence, Toronto
Patient Education Program in support of the Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) IBD Centre of Excellence patient self-management initiative, 2012-2013

Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Toronto
Part-time Research and Project Coordinator -- Families of ‘Complex Patients; COIL- Collaborative Online Interprofessional Learning project, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, 2010-2011

Professional services for the Systemic Therapy Redesign Project with Designworks™
, an important component of the overall Integrative Thinking program at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, to redesign the chemotherapy treatment experience at Princess Margaret Hospital. I interviewed patients to assist with the development of a world-class patient centric cancer treatment facility, provide direction to the architects as they design the new space, and generate tangible solutions for enhancing the patient experience, January-May 2007

Evaluation of the Wellspring/Doane House Hospice Collaboration, Hospice Association of Ontario and Wellspring Collaborative Research, June 2006

Assist with the development and evaluation of Internet-based patient education materials at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, 2001-2004. These online materials support cancer patients in finding, understanding, and using appropriate health related information (i.e., improve their cancer health literacy)

RECENT PROJECTS - Performing Arts Organizations

Audience Development Strategy for The Canadian Stage Company (CanStage) to grow a loyal base and generate future audiences, 2002-2004

Evaluator for an impact study of Not Just Any Body, a global conference to advance the health, well-being and excellence in dance and dancers, National Ballet School, 1999-2000


RECENT PROJECTS - Community Organizations

Outcome Measures Evaluation with Jewish Vocational Services of Greater Toronto for Career Counselling, Education, Employment, and Rehabilitation Services Programs, 1999-2000

Outcome Measures Evaluation with the Jewish Community Centre in Toronto for Athletics, Cultural Programming, and Group Services Programs, 2000



Coordinator of the Arts Forum, a position which was intended to bring more of an Arts focus to undergraduate and graduate programs, the environment, and community partnerships at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto (OISE/UT), 2002-2004

Coordinator of The Ontario Arts Education Institute, an innovative professional development program for teachers and artists in affiliation with York University’s Faculties of Education and Fine Arts, the Metro Toronto Boards of Education, Laidlaw Foundation, Royal Ontario Museum, and performing arts organizations, 1994-1998