University: University of Alexandria

Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Department: Department of Greek and Roman Archaeology and Studies, Museum Studies Program, Professional Diploma

Course Description

1. Basic Information

Course code:

Course Title: Visitors' Research

Academic Program: Museum Studies Program, Professional Diploma in Museum Studies

Course Type:          Compulsory                                                   Elective   

Hours/week: 2     theoretical:  1     practical:  2

Credit Hours: 2

2. Course Aims

This course aims to:

The museum's sources are its public opening and therefore its visitors. From the decision to visit and the expectations it implies, to the reception of this walk in the collections and the satisfaction rate, this course aims to understand who the audiences of museums and heritage monuments are, and what tools are available to better understand them and analyse their needs, practice and evolution. The objective is to be trained to conduct a survey at the national and local levels, both quantitative and qualitative: what are the data to be collected on the sociological, cultural and economic levels, how to organize this collection? How can we also take stock of the museum's current action vis-à-vis the public and how can we improve attendance and the opening of the museum to as many people as possible? This is about learning how to:

-study the characteristics of museum audiences: sociology, cultural and leisure practices, museum behaviour (duration, routes, stops...)

-assess existing mediation mechanisms (guided visits, etc.) in these museum institutions by asking questions about the reception visitors receive, their expectations, their level of satisfaction after the visit, and the impact of the visit.

-Better understand why certain audiences do not come to the museum, their representations of the museum and propose actions to mobilize them to improve the conditions of information and reception of the public, the comfort of the visit propose new solutions in the field of cultural mediation (workshop, digital...) propose a relevant policy for developing access to the museum (pricelists, access to sites and works).

3. Intended Learning Outcomes

a. Knowledge and Understanding

·        obtain information from libraries, archives and bibliographic databases

·        write well structured, illustrated and correctly referenced work, whether for assignments, reports or publication in academic journals

·       develop and present group research project

b. Intellectual Skills

·       Use of the different research skills in producing documents in a range of archaeological formats such as papers and reports, Statical studies and diagrams of the museum visitors and how to develop their museums through these studies.

c. Professional Skills

·        Facility in a range of industry standard software (text, image processing, spreadsheets, databases and statistical software) for data management, analysis, illustration and interpretation

·       Preparation and delivery of presentations.

d. General & Transferable skills

·        Efficient and productive research

·        Productive searching of information from libraries, archives and electronic databases

·        Effective reading and noting of key literature

·       Improved structure and writing style for all written work

4. Course Contents

Topics covered by this course include:

-Study museum audiences: historiography of studies, definition of audiences (natural, captive, distant, target, non-public, individual, collective...).

- Typology of museum visits (3h) Methodology of audience studies, principles and objectives: preliminary studies, formative evaluations, summative evaluations (3h) Quantitative surveys: questionnaire design, sampling, dissemination, computer collection and analysis exercise : design of an audience survey questionnaire (6h) Qualitative tools: survey (formulation of questions, open/semi-open questions), observation of visitors (observation grid, report), Visitors Committee, Guestbook exercise : comparative study of future motivations at the museum and visitors' expectations (6h)

From reception by the public to evaluation of the measures: building a priority action plan, adapted programming between global and local, in the territory and serving the diversity of the public (3h) Categorizations and typologies of public I : the family public (autonomous visit, accompanied activity) (6h) Audience categories and typologies II : tourist audiences workshop: comparative survey on regional samples (6h) Meeting distant audiences: the social role of the museum in situ and the museum outside the walls workshop: propose a mediation outside the walls (6h)

5. Teaching and Learning Methods

- lecturing

- problem solving and cooperative learning

– statistical analysis tool

- sociologicalsurvey

- class discussion and final report

6. Teaching and Learning Methods for Students of Limited Capabilities

-        Videoconferencing and remote learning

7. Students Assessment

a. Assessment methods

-        Power Point Presentations.

-        Writing reports on a given era.

-        Quizzes

-        Written exam

b. Assessment schedule and weight



% of total mark

Students will be asked to produces a 15000 words research design for a topic of their choice. The research design should identify the associated question that the research would address and the ways this would be done. It can be illustrated and include a list of core readings.

From week 2 to 10

20 %


Students will be asked to prepare and give a 15 minutes PowerPoint presentation on the topic they chose for the first assignment utilising the various skills acquired during the course.

13, 14

20 %




Final Exam



8. List of References

a. Core readings:

- B.I. GILMAN, “Museum fatigue”, int Scientific Monthly, 12, 1916, p. 62-74.

- D. Abbey, D. Cameron, The Museum visitor, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 1959-1961, 3 vol.

- S.G. SCREVEN, Visitor Studies bibliography and Abstract, 4th edition, 1999.

- J.H. Falk L.D. Dierkling, The Museum Experience revisited, Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press, 2013.

- D. Jacobi, J. Leckerhoff (éd.), Looking for non publics, Québec, Presses de l’université du Québec, 2013.

- Luz María Ortega Villa, “Non-publics” of Legitimized Cultural Goods. Who are They ?, Loisir et Société, Society and Leisure, vol 32, 2009, p. 123-145.

- Eilean Hooper-Greenhill , “Studying Visitors”,  in Sharon Macdonald (Editor), A Companion to Museum Studies,  p. 362-377.

-Arnold, J.O. & Harmer, J. 1978 Advanced Writing Skills. London: Longman

-Cronin, B. & Hert, C.A. 1995 Scholarly Foraging and network discovery tools.

Journal of Documentation 51: 4: 388-403

-Delanty, G. 2001 Challenging knowledge:  The University in the Knowledge society-

Open University

-Drew, S & Bingham, R. 1996 Student skills. Student Handbook. Aldershot: Gower

-Fairburn, G.J. & winch, C. 1993 Reading, Writing and Reasoning. The Society for

Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.

-Fry, R. 1997 Improving your writing. London: Kogan page

-Jordan, R.R. 1980. Academic Writing Course.London: William Collins & Sons.

-Kirkman, J. 1996. Good Style Writing for Science and technology. London: E & F.N. Spon.

-Roberts, D. 1997. The student’s Guide to Writing Essays. London: Kogan Page.

-Shortland, M & Gregory, J. 1992. Communicating Science, a handbook.London:

b. Suggested readings:

- P.Bourdieu, A. Darbel, L’amour de l’art, les muséeseuropéens et leur public, Paris, Edition de Minuit, 1969.

- F. de Singly, L’enquête et sesméthodes, Le questionnaire, Armand Colin, 2005.

- H.H. Shettel, “Exhibit, Art form or educational Medium ?”, in Museum News, 1973, 522/1, p. 32-41

- Lucie Daignault, Bernard Schiele,Les musées et leurs publics. Savoirs et Enjeux. Québec : Presses de l’Université du Québec, (2014) 390p.

- Lucie Daignault, L’évaluationmuséale :savoirs et savoir-faire, Québec : Presses de l’Université du Québec,  2011.

- STERRY PAt, BEAUMONT Ela. Methods for studying family visitors in art museums : a cross-disciplinary review of current research. Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 21, n° 3, 2006, p. 222-239

a. Periodicals, websites, etc.

9. Course Matrix for Achievement of Intended Learning Outcomes



Knowledge & Understanding

Intellectual Skills

Professional Skills

General & Transferable Skills

Course Overview

Web Resources






Advanced Internet Searching

Database and archive searching using Egyptian Libraries Network

Referencing and bibliographic software






Computing Skills

Word Processing














Effective PowerPoint for talks, posters and presentations






Basic principles of presenting: Structure, Techniques & Attention span






Graphics and scanning

Scanning images from slides, photographs and documents

Image manipulation: file size, text, colour etc Embedding images in documents






Managing and presenting your data

Use of formulae

What makes a good graph

Data types and when to use them







Depicting data

Probability & significance

Regression & Correlation






Producing papers

Maps, GIS & Spatial Analyses






Plagiarism and citation; academic working; the Academic Skills Guide; referencing

Methods of presenting including podium presentations, research papers and posters.






Project Report Writing






Students' presentations 1






Students' presentations  2






Final Exam