ECHOCAST

ECHOCAST is a project created by ECHONET (a network of European cultural heritage organizations). ECHOCAST aim is to to develop, implement and secure high standards of quality within visitor services.

http://www.echocast.komunariko.at/en/

“Through visitor orientation, ECHOCAST takes into account the growing competition in the leisure sector. It encourages the innovative and flexible capabilities of the cultural heritage organizations and other cultural facilities such as, museums, open-air museums, natural parks, gardens, galleries etc. In order to ensure standards, certified trainers work with visitor service employees, on the individual skills needed for their daily work life and specific situations.”

“ECHOCAST- (European Cultural Heritage Organizations Customer Awareness Staff Training) is the first European standard for trained and motivated visitor services, offering for the first time, a specific standardised certification of training, for employees in direct contact with visitors. The standardised programme defines quality criteria for the visitor service and safety regulations. Employees are taught these standards by certified trainers. After the successful completion of a test, participants receive a certificate. Regular further training assures consistent high quality.”

ECHOCAST is focused on social skills among the museum staff. Besides an European standard of qualification for museum staff, the ECHOCAST partners developed a training program with eight different learning modules, none of which, however, refer to language training. So maybe it’s a place for “Work of Art” to complement the programme.

Second project meeting in Berlin, Germany

Second project meeting took place on 23rd and 24th of May 2013. We met in the heart of Berlin in the headquater of our German partner – Förderband.

The schedule was similar to the Lisbon meeting. In the morning we’ve had time to discuss all the important issues and finalize work on our research instruments. Whereas evenings were devoted to museums visits, during which we had a chance talk to HR specialists and managers and to see how Museum Visitor Services Team deals with everyday language challanges.

First day…

we’ve started with some intensive work on the second questionnaire which is devoted to the language learning needs of MVST. We discussed it’s content and form and added some new questions. Looks like it’s almost the final version, so after coming back we need to distribute the questionnaire among our silent partners. After the first research we already know all the difficulties in collecting data and getting in contact with the right person responsible for the MVST. HR specialist in museums all around the world are very busy people and it’s quite challenging to get a minute of their time. Fortunatelly this questionnaire is also very easy and quick to fill in, so we hope to have many responses.

Then we turned to Gunther who introduced us to the ECHOCAST, a project focused on social skills among the museum staff. Besides an European standard of qualification for museum staff, the ECHOCAST partners developed a training program with eight different learning modules (none of which, however, refer to language training). So we hope there is a great place to combine the results of WoA and ECHOCAST in a new project application in 2014 and to use the standards also for a future language project, or a project that seeks to establish an European language standard. In case you are interested in ECHOCAST, please see http://www.echocast.komunariko.at/en/

In the afternoon we visited the Gemäldegalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SMB), accompanied by Mr. Richartz (Head of the Visitor Services, SMB) and Mr. Davis (Curator of Education, Visitor Services, SMB). Both, Mr. Richartz and Mr. Davis were very interested in the WoA project.

The second day…

we’ve started with some statistical data about nationalities of visitors and language priorities at the Hamden museum provided by Louis (University of Glasgow). Seems like quantity data is a very important source of knowledge for our project.

Then we focused on the interim report, as we have only one month to prepare it for our National Agencies.

And at the end The National Museum in Kraków did also a presentation about their experiences with e-learning in language training, which is also an important contribution to the project.

After lunch we visited the DDR museum and attended a guided tour through the exhibition to see how they deal with the foreign visitors issues.

We came back full of new tasks and energy to develop and implement our project. A vision of “Work of Art” and “ECHOCAST” complementing one another is something what gives us a new sparkle and opens our eyes wider.