An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course
At their heart, regardless of type or size, museums are engaging, dynamic places of education. This AASLH online course, Museum Education and Outreach, is about how we can facilitate visitors’ meaningful and memorable experiences in the informal environments of museums. The program looks at the larger umbrella of programming at sites and explores the large concept of who our audiences are, how best to connect with them, and what is needed to develop various methods.
This course requires regular check-ins, sharing and commenting on peer work, and participation in scheduled live chats. Participants will help shape the flow of the course in addition to providing resources and insights on each other’s work. Assignments are made weekly to allow for regular feedback and dialogue. While work can be done at your own pace, meeting deadlines is encouraged to maximize the experience. Throughout the course you will develop a toolkit of strategies, policies, and documents ready for immediate implementation.
- Week 1: Defining the Museum / Museums and Memory
- Week 2: Interpretation Strengths, Weaknesses, and Best Practices
- Week 3: Audiences and Identifying Your Key Ones
- Week 4: Education Program Planning, Management, and Evaluation
- Week 5: Organizing of Museum Education and Outreach
- Week 6: Community Partners and Funding
- Week 7: Leading Staff and Volunteers
- Week 8: Action Plan for Future Programming at your Museum
COURSE DATES: March 2 – April 26, 2020
COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers
OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 – February 23, 2020; 25 participant limit
FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course
LENGTH: 8 weeks
PARTICIPATION STYLE: Bi-weekly one-hour online chats – schedule to be determined by the instructor at the start of the course – if you are unable to attend a chat you can read the transcript and then post your thoughts/questions in the General Forum; weekly readings and assignments; final course assignment. Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on the course.
MATERIALS: One required text: The Museum Educator’s Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques, Second Edition, Anna Johnson, Kimberly A. Huber, Nancy Cutler, Melissa Bingmann and Tim Grove, 2017. (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)
CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.
At the end of this course you will be able to:
- describe the characteristics and learning needs of various museum audiences;
- summarize what we know about learning in museums;
- assess the strengths and weaknesses of interpretive techniques and program approaches;
- utilize a system for planning, operating, and evaluating museum educational programs;
- access resources to assist you in future development of effective learning experiences
Who Should Take This Course
This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with developing education programs and goals for museums. Successful participants should be ready to look past traditional methods and challenge themselves to work around site-specific hurdles.
Tanya Brock is one who tends to take leaps and jumps rather than the straight path. Her career has spanned museum education, visitor services, exhibit planning, historical research, educational program consultant, and community partner liaison. Whether teaching food preservation classes or designing and running the nation’s first functioning historical brewery or running a brewpub co-op, her passion has always been centered on food—its power to unite and act as a storyteller for communities.
Her education is a patchwork of cultural anthropology, food preservation, heritage interpretation, and museum administration. This background has built a foundation of various perspectives from which she draws from when designing programs. Over a 20-year period she has worked with audiences of all sizes, ages, and backgrounds yet believes at the end of the day, it is the guest who drives the conversation and the experience.