This paper illustrates an evaluative research process, committed by the Genoa Aquarium and developed by the Department of Anthropological Sciences, aimed at building an index of educational effectiveness of the visit, which allowed the company management to get a synthetic indication of effectiveness and to identify more easily the strengths and weaknesses of the path from the educational point of view. To do this, after a preliminary analysis of the bibliography of reference, the first step was the conceptual clarification of the evaluation object, sought through focus groups and interviews in which managers and operators of the structure were invited to more properly define the educational objectives of the visit. Then questionnaires were constructed and filled in by the visitors before the visit, to ensure that their educational expectations on the visit coincide with the objectives identified by company management, and after the visit, to evaluate its effectiveness. In the final phase the staff structure has been involved in the indicators weighting, allowing to re-evaluate the scores obtained on the different indicators with the administration of questionnaires and to calculate, on a 0-100 scale, an index of educational effectiveness that respects the priorities defined by managers and experts of Genoa Aquarium. The main index strength, thus calculated, is that it reflects the priorities assigned by company management, and on this basis gives a synthetic feedback on the educational effectiveness of the visit. Its intrinsic limit, is that one can not assume the overlap between the priorities assigned to the objectives by managers and operators, on one hand, and the relative priority of user expectations on the other, and this is an important element of uncertainty for the definition of corporate strategies.
Keywords: Educational effectiveness, evaluative indicators, effectiveness index.