Recruitment, Training, Review

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH

The One Work One Hour Program encourages Columbus Museum of Art docents to expand their knowledge base and touring skills. Docents educate docents and "What If I Told You?" is the phrase used to invite curiosity and wonder about works of art and help people have an experience they remember.

Presenter: Carole Dale

Theme Category: Educating Docents 

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

This Breakout Session on the development and implementation of goals, objectives and measures for ongoing docent training will give session participants tools to encourage continuous improvement in the docent corps. After one year of initial docent training, the Walters Art Museum requires all docents to attend weekly enrichment sessions to improve practice and to build and maintain excellence. Session participants will learn how a partnership between docents and museum professionals helped to ensure ongoing training serves docents as adult learners and as volunteers and helps them deliver quality learning experiences for museum visitors.

Presenter: Jan Thorman

Theme Category: Educating Docents

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

In this session, the presenters will share the ways in which the Gallery Instructor program – the docent program at the MFA – has used print material, the Internet and special programming to keep Gallery Instructors (GIs) connected while addressing the needs of a growing and changing organization. These will include examples of our GI-to-GI Google listserve, staff-to-GI online weekly newsletter and GI special online and print magazine. The presenters will also explain the special programs and events that were developed to bring the GIs together, not only inside the museum, but outside the museum as well.

Presenters: Ellen Zarrow-Nissenbaum and Patti Bifulco

Theme Category: Communication

Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA

The docents at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston set out to substitute a digital notebook for three-ring binders and note cards, allowing information to be easily shared in the museum or through smartphones, tablets and laptops. Through the use of videos, online demonstrations, slides and personal observations, the presenters will share how they learned to use online tools to easily access the ideas and information important to docents. The presenters will demonstrate and explain the fundamentals of a digital collection notebook, describe the outreach, orientation and training provided to docents, and share a list of recommendations for others using similar online tools.

Presenters: Annie Short, Barbara Selenkow-Rippberger, and Maureen Sweeny

Theme Category: Technology

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Docent Council of the SBMA believes that peer evaluation greatly enhances both the docent and museum visitor experience.  This session will present the philosophy and process of our long-standing peer evaluation program.  Evaluation forms will be discussed and sample evaluation forms will be distributed to participants.

Presenters: Kathryn Padgett, PhD, Paul Guido

North Carolina Museum of History

In this session you will learn how the North Carolina Museum of History developed their online docent training program; its pros and cons; technology needed; costs involved; as well as see examples of online teacher workshops.  You will take away ideas of how this could work in your museum.

Presenters: Debra Nichols, Susan Horton

Denver Art Museum

The presentation will discuss the many roles that a group of experienced docent educators played in the training of the newest class of Provisional Docents at the Denver Art Museum.  The roles played by these mentors were key to these new docents being ready to tour both children and adults.

Presenter: Ann Brennan Thomas, Co-Presenters: Benita Goltermann and Frieda Levine

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Learn about how the Peabody Essex changed from a one-size-fits-all docent training program to a structure where docents train in teams structured around the needs of specific audiences. Hear about the process, pros and cons, the training program, and its progress.

Presenter: Ellen Soares, Docent Program Manager, Co-Presenter: Keith Quenzel

DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago, IL

DuSable has developed an engaging and deeply informative docent training process.  Our training course, evaluation process, and quarterly meetings ensure docents are well prepared to lead captivating tours.  Our breakout session uses games, kinesthetic exercises, photos, and videos to provide the information needed to conduct impactful docent training programs.

Presenter: Nevada Montgomery