Evaluating Compelling Stories
This brief section provides an intensive set of questions to help you evaluate the strength of the compelling story. It’s difficult to know how the story affects an audience. Ideally, they move from not caring about a resource to finding personal relevance and the inspiration to find out more on their own. Interpretive success is measured in an audience by increased curiosity, not by some notion that they have gotten it all. Indeed, visitors may not process or realize their full connectivity with the resource and its meaning until later, after talking with family and friends about their experiences or applying the knowledge and ideas to new situations.
Use What You Know: Assess Your Knowledge (#8 of 10)
Use these questions to evaluate the Compelling Story you wrote.
For Your Information
The 1994 revision of the NPS thematic framework helps interpreters as a conceptual tool to develop knowledge of the resources in order to evaluate what stories there are to be told about a particular NPS unit. Understanding the holistic and interconnected story of the resource contributes to the goal of telling compelling stories which represent the greater meaning or significance of the resources. The framework is not a cookbook, but an interpreter who works with it will find a tool there to promote good interpretation.
The thematic framework may also be helpful as an interpreter evaluates the stories that are available for telling. The key to successfully using the framework to organize knowledge of the resources is to start broadly and then narrow down the stories to the most compelling ones. The most compelling stories are those whose outcomes promote visitors' understanding of a park's purpose and significance. These often are holistic stories that lead the visitor to understanding a park's mission, purpose and the significance of park resources.
Use What You Know: Assess Your Knowledge (#9 of 10)
We turn this section over to you. Use your answers to the Use What You Know sections, the case studies, and examples from your own park to work through the questions below.
Use the story you have created as the case study for the questions that follow.