Royal Botanic Gardens Kew needed to investigate and monitor the extent to which the organisation was achieving strong learning outcomes among its general public garden visitors. There was a need to both robustly measure the extent to which learning outcomes were being achieved among visitors to Kew and Wakehurst and to understand in depth the factors / visit aspects which were driving these learning outcomes and any barriers which exist. Ultimately, insights were used to inform the actions that Kew might take to develop learning on-site.
A set of learning outcomes questions were added to Kew’s rolling visitor survey in order to robustly monitor the extent to which outcomes were being achieved among a representative sample of visitors. To understand the drivers of these outcomes and barriers, we used our Experience Eye qualitative approach to get under the skin of visitor behaviour and identify specific visit elements that were acting as catalysts or barriers to learning for each of Kew’s audience segments. Research was undertaken over three waves – in spring, summer and autumn – in order to understand the impact of seasonality on learning outcomes.