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LePAS - Leibniz-Platform for Advancing and Supporting Visitor Research in Museums

Funded by

Leibniz-Gemeinschaft (Leibniz-Wettbewerb 2022)

Project description

Museums are not only places for socializing and leisure activities, but as informal places of learning they are an important pillar of lifelong learning. With their exhibitions and educational programs, museums aim, among other things, to promote competencies such as the ability to reflect and think critically. The new keywords are visitor orientation, dialogue with society, participation and social relevance. Museums are in the process of taking on a more active role in society: away from the temple of the Muses and the "neutral" place, towards relevant social actors that promote and shape both dialogue and active participation of different interest groups.

In order to do this in a targeted way, it is important to know more about one's audience or to understand why people do or do not visit a museum. Although many museums in Germany already conduct their own visitor studies, there is a lack of sustainable visitor research concepts, instruments and infrastructures. LePAS aims to collect, (further) develop and provide tools for obtaining reliable, standardized visitor data on a user-friendly research platform. The package is complemented by training measures that support museums in independently implementing sound visitor research.

The LePAS project therefore consists of three components: 1) a modular set of reliable and valid research tools that address museum- and visitor-relevant questions from different fields (e.g. demographic, cognitive, psychological); 2) a data collection and analysis platform that allows for easy compilation and administration of visitor surveys as well as simple descriptive and comparative statistical analyses of survey results; and 3) a comprehensive education and training program that enables museums not only to reliably collect data, but also to address their own questions in a science-based manner. This approach will enable reliable comparisons between museums on different dimensions, such as visitor structure, psychological characteristics, or learning behaviors in different environments. In addition, LePAS will contribute to the use of common tools for visitor research by out-of-school learning sites. This approach will not only strengthen the leading role of the Leibniz Association in museum research in Germany, but also the impact of museums on society as a whole.

Cooperation partners

Other research projects