Collection and non-collection of visitor information: a study of Ohio interpretive organizations
Creators:Maynard, Michael K.
Advisor:Dowdy, James Marshall, 1928-
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Honors Theses; 1979
Interpretation is a communication process which has educational, informational, and recreational aspects. As a communication process, it depends for its existence upon its lifeblood, an audience. For organizations providing on-site interpretation, the audience consists of the site visitor. While some research in the field of interpretation has focused on the visitor, much remains to be done, and the claim has been made that an information deficiency exists with respect to the visitor. This research project documented the collection and application of visitor data/information by interpretive-related organizations in the state of Ohio, assessed their adequacy, and recommended alternative strategies. Three groups of variables -- organization characteristics, organization attitudes, and organization collection efforts -- were examined for their utility in describing and explaining collection and non-collection of visitor information. One data set was gathered within the state of Ohio. Randomly selected interpretive organizations were sampled to produce a usable data file of 72. Description and analysis of the data file were conducted, and the results were as follow: 1. Certain organizational characteristics variables, organizational attitude variables, and organizational collection effort variables do distinguish between collecting and non-collecting organizations. 2. Certain variables of all three types -- characteristics, attitudes, and collection efforts -- showed significant correlations. 3. Responses of interpretive organizations sampled indicate that present visitor data collection efforts are inadequate in several respects. 4. Collecting and non-collecting organizations can be differentiated in a fairly logical manner based upon 14 important variables. These findings identified a set of empirical regularities concerning collection and non-collection of visitor data by interpretive organizations which can be useful in formulating future research and in planning and programming of interpretive activities sponsored by these organizations.