Visitor Studies Association Call For Proposals

October 17th, 2014

The Visitor Studies Association is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2015 conference in Indianapolis, IN. The conference will take place July 16-18, 2015 with the theme: Taking Action for Improvement, Growth, and Social Change.

Please find the full guidelines on the VSA conference website.

The 2015 conference offers a venue for presenting new research, findings, and methods and exploring higher level topics and questions of interest to the field of informal learning. This year, the thematic focus of the keynote and plenaries will emphasize the ways in which we can take action through our work. VSA is dedicated to meeting the growing demand for the tools and the inspiration to better understand informal learning, as well as best-practice strategies for how to attract, educate, and serve diverse communities. To take action, we need to develop ourselves as creative and dynamic leaders, as individuals and within institutions and organizations dedicated to supporting informal learning opportunities; this is the key to fulfilling our potential for public service. Some of the questions this theme facilitates presenters, speakers, and attendees in addressing include:


  • Are informal learning institutions achieving their missions of taking action through their work that benefits or changes society in some way?
  • How can professionals leverage their work to increase the effectiveness of museums and informal learning environments as agents of social betterment?
  • What new methods and findings shed light on the role of museums and informal learning environments in modern society and in a time of societal change?
  • What additional work is necessary to better understand our shifting society and the communities we seek to serve?
  • How is action research leading to change within the informal learning field?
  • What can we learn from projects taking action on specific issues?
  • What can we learn from those taking action on evaluation and research findings?


Session proposals should either address the conference theme or current topics in fields of study that support informal learning environments, such as psychology, sociology, market research, cognitive science, architecture, evaluation, public policy, and education. To highlight how research and evaluation can be used to improve practice, submissions are also invited from those who apply the results. This includes, but is not limited to, evaluators, educators, interpreters, exhibit designers and developers, marketing professionals, planners, academics, and administrators.


December 8, 2014; 11:59 pm PST: Deadline for Submission. Read through the guidelines; then go to to submit your proposal.

January 12, 2015: Peer Reviews completed

January/February: Program Committee finalizes decisions and arranges program schedule

By February 20: Notifications sent to applicants

Questions? If you have questions or require additional information, please e-mail Program Co-Chairs Claire Thoma and Elee Wood at