What are AASLH Online Courses?

AASLH Online Courses are designed for busy history-doers. Each course is offered twice a year, but class sizes are limited. Click here to view courses currently open for registration. Please see each individual course description for more information on course style and requirements.

Small Museum Pro! (SMP!) is a professional certificate program for history practitioners who work or would like to work, in small history organizations. It provides practical guidance and education on a variety of topics. To receive a certificate, applicants must complete and pass five courses from the program. Eligible courses are listed below.

  • Caring for Museum Collections
  • Collections Management
  • Developing Exhibitions: Planning
  • Developing Exhibitions: Design
  • Introduction to Financial Management
  • Leadership and Administration for History Organizations
  • Museum Education and Outreach

Check your SMP! progress in the Resource Center.

Registration for AASLH Online Courses is open to the public. Check on course registration and register for upcoming courses in the AASLH Resource Center.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Cancellations for online professional development must be submitted in writing via email to learn@aaslh.org or mail to 2021 21st Ave S., Suite 320 Nashville, TN 37212. Cancellations made prior to the start date for the online course or the day of the webinar will be given a full refund. No refund will be given on/after the start date for the online course or on/after the day of the webinar. Registrants may transfer their registration to another person. Registrations cannot be transferred between courses or course sessions. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received. 

If you would like to be added to the waitlist for a course please email learn@aaslh.org. If you are interested in reserving spots for more than one person, we can only reserve two spots per organization. If you have a Partner level membership or above we can reserve 3 spots per organization. If you would like to reserve more than that please reach out to learn@aaslh.org about potentially sponsoring a session.

This excludes HLI Programs.

Winter

Open Registration: October 1, 2021 through January 3, 2022

Course Session Dates
Creating Programs for Teachers and Students January 10 – February 6, 2022
Introduction to Financial Management January 10 – February 6, 2022
Basics of Archives January 10 – February 13, 2022
Collections Management January 10 – March 6, 2022
Developing Exhibitions: Design January 10 – March 6, 2022
Museum Education and Outreach January 10 – March 6, 2022

Spring

Open Registration: December 15, 2021 through March 14, 2022

Course Session Dates
Financial Structures and Strategy March 21 – April 17, 2022
Project Management March 21 – April 17, 2022
Leadership and Administration March 21 – May 15, 2022    
Developing Exhibitions: Planning March 21 – May 15, 2022
Caring for Museum Collections March 21 – May 15, 2022

Summer

Open Registration: March 1, 2022 through May 16/June 6, 2022

Course Session Dates
Introduction to Financial Management May 23 – June 19, 2022              
Basics of Archives June 13 – July 17, 2022
Caring for Museum Collections June 13 – August 7, 2022
Developing Exhibitions: Design June 13 – August 7, 2022
Leadership and Administration June 13 – August 7, 2022

Fall

Open Registration: June 1, 2022 through August 22, 2022

Course Session Dates
Financial Structures and Strategy August 29 – September 25, 2022
Project Management August 29 – September 25, 2022
Basics of Archives October 3 – November 6, 2022
Collections Management August 29 – October 23, 2022
Developing Exhibitions: Planning August 29 – October 23, 2022
Museum Education and Outreach August 29 – October 23, 2022

Courses typically fill up before the registration deadline, so register early.

Winter

Registration Open: October 1, 2022 through January 2, 2023

Course Session Dates
Introduction to Financial Management January 9 – February 5, 2023
Basics of Archives January 9 – February 12, 2023
Collections Management January 9 – March 5, 2023
Developing Exhibitions: Design January 9 – March 5, 2023
Museum Education and Outreach January 9 – March 5, 2023

Spring

Registration Open: December 1, 2022 through March 13, 2023

Course Session Dates
Caring for Museum Collections March 20 – May 14, 2023
Developing Exhibitions: Planning March 20 – May 14, 2023
Leadership and Administration March 20 – May 14, 2023    
Project Management March 20 – May 14, 2023 

Summer

Registration Open: March 1, 2022 through May 15/June 5 2023

Course Session Dates
Introduction to Financial Management May 22 – June 18, 2023              
Basics of Archives June 12 – July 16, 2023
Caring for Museum Collections June 12 – August 6, 2023
Developing Exhibitions: Design June 12 – August 6, 2023
Leadership and Administration June 12 – August 6, 2023

Fall

Registration Open: June 1, 2022 through August 22, 2022

Course Session Dates
Financial Structures and Strategy August 28 – September 24, 2023
Basics of Archives August 28 – October 1, 2023
Developing Exhibitions: Planning August 28 – October 22, 2023
Museum Education and Outreach August 28 – October 22, 2023
Project Management August 28 – October 22, 2023

Course Catalog

Course Description

Basics of Archives is the perfect self-paced course for anyone new to archives. The course is divided into topical reading lessons and you can complete the lessons at any time during the 5 weeks the course is in session. Just be sure to complete and pass all the lesson quizzes by the last day of the course to earn your certificate of completion.

Even though the online course is self-paced, you still have access to a facilitator who is available to answer your questions. Don’t forget to connect with your peers in the discussion forums, too! 

The Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course consists of seven lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach
  • Digital Records
  • Digitization

Course Logistics

COST: $105 AASLH Members / $205 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, self-paced course with facilitator feedback

LENGTH: 5 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, text-based forum discussions, and quizzes. Readings and quizzes can be completed at anytime during the 5-week period. There is no required time to be online. 

MATERIALS: There are no required textbooks for this course. All reading materials will be provided.  

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (70% or higher) will earn a Certificate of Completion from AASLH.

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 archival materials.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

This eight week course will deal with the physical care and preservation of your museum collections. This practical course will cover how collections age and deteriorate, handling collections, storage requirements, environmental considerations, housekeeping, and risk management.

Each week of this course contains a narrative discussion of a topic in the form of Lessons. The lessons and web-based readings, combined with your professional experiences, will provide you with a grounding in the week’s topic.

Participant Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of physical care and preservation of museum collections including the following:

  • Know the major causes of deterioration for museum objects and how to use that information to enhance long-term preservation;
  • Know how to handle objects in the safest way;
  • Know how to examine and document the condition of objects in your collections;
  • Know how to display your collections in a way that prolongs their life;
  • Know how to store and house your collections in the way that best preserves them;
  • Understand the importance of environmental control for the preservation of your collections;
  • Know the best ways to clean your museum; and
  • Know how to perform a risk assessment of your museum and use it to write a disaster plan.

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on readings, video discussions, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS: This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern. There are no required texts for this course. All other materials will be provided.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

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 conservation of collections.

The last session of this course will be held January 9 – March 5, 2023. After that time, we will be offering two new courses covering collections management. Stay tuned for more info on those courses!

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course.

Course Description

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

At the beginning of the course participants will be asked to select five objects from their museum to work with throughout the eight weeks. During the course, participants will be working on a collection management policy draft, and conducting some management tasks with their mini-collection objects.

Participant Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on readings, video discussions text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS: One required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, 2nd Ed. Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2017 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). Optional text: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small Museum.  (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

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 collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

Developing Exhibitions: Planning is an online course about how to to plan exhibition content and think about interactivity. This course focuses on developing an understanding of current issues within exhibit development and creating original planning documents for a potential exhibit at participants’ institution (or other selected venue). Drawing upon their professional and educational experiences, course participants will examine their own perspectives on exhibition development and strengthen their role within its practice.

Whether participants come to the course with an imaginary exhibit in mind, or with the intention to develop an actual exhibit, this course will guide them through the process, providing encouragement and guidance along the way and a chance to exchange ideas and experiences. Educational support is provided by the course instructor, the participants’ professional colleagues in the course, as well as colleagues at their institution.

Participation Requirements

  • Complete required readings.
  • Review supplemental examples and case studies.
  • Complete weekly assignments, including an exhibit critique.
  • Participate in two online chats. (If unable to attend, you may receive credit by submitting a written response to the chat transcript).
  • Share your own knowledge, experience and resources with the class.

Participant Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Research and evaluate exhibitions
  • Develop, describe, and present exhibition concepts that are impactful based upon a museums mission, vision, audiences and goals
  • Consider and incorporate the perspectives and concerns of multiple audience groups into exhibit planning
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of an exhibit concept using professional feedback, and adapt it accordingly
  • Engage with the professional community to build personal knowledge, as well as contributing to the field of museum exhibitions

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, text-based forum discussions, Zoom chats, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held in Week 3 and Week 6
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS:

  • Required text: Exhibit Makeovers, A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition, by Alice Parman, Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis, 2017.
  • Texts are NOT INCLUDED with registration. Participants must order the book separately from the book seller of their choice. A discount code is provided after registration.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries who have little to no experience with exhibit development and design.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

Developing Exhibitions: Design is an online course about how to design exhibitions. Guided by an expert instructor and supported by cooperative student learning, participants will design an actual exhibit. Participants will decide what their exhibit will be about and why, identify its storyline ideas and organizing concepts, and decide on its look and feel.

Throughout the course, participants will complete readings from the required textbook, review supplemental examples and case studies posted to the course site, and conduct an exhibit critique. Whether participants come to the course with an imaginary exhibit in mind, or with the intention to develop an actual exhibit, this course will guide them through each step, providing encouragement and guidance along the way and a chance to exchange ideas and experiences.

Participation Requirements

  • Study materials directly within the online class site;
  • Find other resources on the web or in the community and share them with the class;
  • Share your own knowledge, experience and resources with the class; and
  • Complete one or more exhibit-development assignments and share your work with the class.

Participant Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will:

  • Have firsthand, guided experience with a proven, step-by-step process for planning exhibits;
  • Have experience with tools that will assist you in exhibit planning for your museum;
  • Be familiar with other resources for more information; and
  • Have a network of small-museum professionals with whom to confer on future exhibits.

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS:

  • Required text: Exhibit Makeovers, A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition, by Alice Parman, Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis, 2017.
  • Texts are NOT INCLUDED with registration. Participants must order the book separately from the book seller of their choice. A discount code is provided after registration.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries who have little to no experience with exhibit development and design. Developing Exhibitions: Planning is no longer a prerequisite for this course, though may prove useful in preparation.

 

Course Description

Intended for those with little to moderate familiarity with financial concepts, this four-week course helps students better understand institutional finance and accountability. Staff, board members, and volunteers will find this course applicable to their work within nonprofit organizations, agencies, and other structures.

“Financial Structures and Strategy” introduces the “big ideas” of organizational financial management: functional accounting, transparency, the annual reporting process, and the relationship between finance and mission. Not only will students learn the basic structures and functions of financial oversight, they will also understand how to activate finance as a strategic tool to benefit organizational planning and evaluation.

Over the four weeks, students participate in dynamic discussions, review relevant and timely readings, and ultimately learn how to prepare and analyze financial systems.

The course is divided into four weekly segments, each accompanied by an online lesson, forum, chat, and assignment:

  • Week 1: Course overview and introduction to financial systems
  • Week 2: Overview of the annual audit process and preparation of financial statements
  • Week 3: Introduction to the IRS Form 990, UBIT, and other tax considerations
  • Week 4: Strategies and recommendations for long-term institutional financial health

Note: The Introduction to Financial Management course presented by AASLH is not required as a prerequisite for this course, though may prove useful in preparation.

Participant Outcomes

Participation in this course will help you:

  • Understand basic nonprofit functional accounting systems and the role of financial transparency
  • Structure and execute the annual financial reporting process
  • Analyze financial data according to mission relevance
  • Establish financial procedures to ensure financial sustainability.

Course Logistics

COST: $175 AASLH Members / $275 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 4 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM OFFICE HOURS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom office hour will be held weekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Office hours are not recorded and are optional to attend

MATERIALS:

  • Required Textbook: Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums, by Rebekah Beaulieu, 2017.
  • Texts are NOT INCLUDED with registration. Participants must order the book separately from the book seller of their choice. A discount code is provided after registration.
  • Students should bring real-life financial information to the course to be used in course assignments to create a budget. 
  • Students should also have access to and basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program as it will be used extensively to complete assignments. 
  • Note: all institutional financial information will be kept confidential and shared only with the instructor.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom office hours, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn a Certificate of Completion from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

Whether you have financial responsibilities at your organization, wish to build a skill set for a leadership position in the future, or simply want to better comprehend and contribute to financial decision-making, this course is for you.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

Designed for staff and volunteers of all abilities and organizations of all sizes, this four-week course provides an accessible, clear, and even fun introduction to financial concepts. From understanding expenses and income to how to establish an endowment, this course will equip you with a toolkit to engage with finance on your terms and to your ability.

Over the four weeks, students will participate in dynamic discussions, review relevant and timely readings, and ultimately build a real, usable budget tailored to their organization’s needs.  

The course is divided into four weekly segments, each accompanied by an online lesson, forum, chat, and assignment:

  • Week One: Introduction to financial terminology and reporting systems
  • Week Two: Understanding earned, contributed, and investment income; UBIT
  • Week Three: Understanding expenses, cost projections and analysis
  • Week Four: The relationship between finance and mission relevance; financial health

Participant Outcomes

At the end of this course you will:

    • Understand processes related to budgets and basic financial systems in accordance with best practices
    • Understand institutional financial planning, goal-setting, and analysis
    • Bridge mission- and non-mission-based activities with financial outcomes
    • Feel more comfortable and better equipped to create operational and special project budgets

Course Logistics

COST: $175 AASLH Members / $275 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 4 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM OFFICE HOURS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom office hour will be held weekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Office hours are not recorded and are optional to attend

MATERIALS:

  • Required Textbook: Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums, by Rebekah Beaulieu, 2017.
  • Texts are NOT INCLUDED with registration. Participants must order the book separately from the book seller of their choice. A discount code is provided after registration.
  • Students should bring real-life financial information to the course to be used in course assignments to create a budget. 
  • Students should also have access to and basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel or a similar spreadsheet program as it will be used extensively to complete assignments. 
  • Note: all institutional financial information will be kept confidential and shared only with the instructor.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom office hours, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

Whether you have financial responsibilities at your organization, wish to build a skill set for a leadership position in the future, or simply want to better comprehend and contribute to financial decision-making, this course is for you.  

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

History museum leadership is more complex and demanding than ever before, requiring updated and innovative ways to meet mission and keep organizations healthy. Thoughtful, intentional museum administration and leadership matter, regardless of the size or focus of your organization.

During the eight weeks of this course, modules addressing governance and administrative structures, nonprofit status and the public trust, mission and vision, the relationship between board and staff, including their roles and responsibilities; strategic planning, human resource development and management, and leadership will be covered.

The course is divided into eight weekly segments and includes a combination of topical reading assignments and related weekly assignments and bi-weekly online chats. A final course assignment is due the week after the last class.

Week 1: The Role, Challenges, and Expectations of History Museums Today
Week 2: The New Museum Leadership
Week 3: The Importance of Museum Vision and Mission
Week 4: Aligning Organizational Operating Models, Administrative and Management Responsibilities, Relationships, Structures, Systems and Networks
Week 5: Museum Boards Are Leaders, Too: Their Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations, and Their Relationship to the Director and to Museum Staff
Week Six:  Human Resource Management – Building Effective Teams and Mentoring
Week Seven:  Making Leadership Intentional at All Levels
Week Eight: Charting Your Museum’s Future, Inspiring Action, and Measuring Effectiveness

Participant Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of Leadership and Administration including the following:

  • the public trust role and governance structure of most nonprofit museums;
  • the importance of museum mission, vision, change, and strategic planning;
  • the major administrative and leadership roles and responsibilities of the board and staff;
  • the key issues in human resource management, including building effective teams
  • why leadership matters at all levels;
  • charting your museum’s future and measuring effectiveness; and
  • where the museum field is heading in the future.

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on readings, video discussions, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS:

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

Successful participants will be individuals in institutional leadership positions at the staff, board, and volunteer levels (where volunteers supervise others), who have significant decision-making responsibilities and who have the ability to affect positive, substantive change within their organizations.  This course is not appropriate for students, interns, or volunteers who do not have managerial responsibilities. We recommend that only one person per institution take this course at a time. To read about a participant’s experience, take a look at this blog post by a Leadership and Administration student: Leadership Matters At Every Level.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

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

Participant Outcomes

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

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on readings, video discussions, text-based forum discussions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held biweekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS:

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

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.

Course Description

Do you often juggle several projects, trying to keep each one focused and on track? Have you found yourself having to change a project halfway through because not everyone was on the same page when you start? Do you sometimes have to wear two (or more) hats as you are both managing a project and providing the content or deliverables? Project Management is a specific approach to managing projects that breaks the process into four phases (defining, planning, managing, and reviewing) and uses a variety of tools (charter, risk score, and scope diagram to name a few) to move a project from start to finish.

This online course will share aspects of Project Management that can best be applied to history organizations for everything from exhibit design to collections inventories. Over the course of eight-weeks, participants will learn about the various concepts and tools used in Project Management, will encounter a variety of examples of how Project Management has been or can be used in history organizations, and will have the opportunity to apply the course content to a project of their own.

This course consists of eight modules that include videos, readings, assignments and other activities. A live weekly session provides the opportunity for students to interact with the instructor and each other and optional group and one-on-one sessions provide additional support.

Participant Outcomes

Participation in this course will help you:

  • Understand and visualize the different aspects of a project including goals and objectives, stakeholders, and risk
  • Create a Project Definition Statement or Charter, which will help align expectations for a project
  • Produce a comprehensive project plan
  • Access a variety of tools to aid in implementation and execution
  • Wrap up a project in a way that includes documentation, evaluation, and celebration

Course Logistics

COST: $215 AASLH Members / $315 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community or by emailing learn@aaslh.org

FORMAT: Online, Instructor-led, Weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5-7 hours per week on this course including videos, readings, live sessions, and assignments.

LIVE ZOOM DISCUSSIONS: We recommend downloading the Zoom mobile or desktop app for this course. 

  • A one-hour live Zoom discussion will be held weekly
  • Final dates/times will be determined by the instructor at the start of the course
  • Zoom discussions are recorded in case a participant is unable to attend the live sessions

MATERIALS: There are no required texts for this course. All other materials will be provided.

TECHNOLOGY: Participants will need access to internet and a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet to participate in this course. For the live Zoom discussions, we recommend having access to a camera and a headset, earpods, or other audio and microphone device. Automatic captioning is available in the Zoom discussions.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (B or higher) will earn a Certificate of Completion from AASLH.

Who Should Take This Course

Project Management is valuable training for staff at all levels. Whether your work involves exhibitions, education and programs, planning, fundraising, collections, historic preservation or the many other tasks staff at history organizations address every day, you will gain new skills, ideas and tools for effectively managing projects.

Course Facilitators

Facilitates Leadership and Administration for History Organizations

Anne W. Ackerson is a former history museum director, director of the Museum Association of New York, and director of the national Council of State Archivists. Her independent consulting focuses on governance and management issues in cultural institutions. She is the co-author of Leadership Matters: Leading Museums in an Age of Discord, a book examining history museum leadership for the 21st century, and Women in the Museum: Lessons from the Workplace. In 2018, she collaborated on research revealing that 62% of the museum workforce are affected by some form of gender discrimination. Most recently, she represented AASLH in a working group with the National Council on Public History to field a survey regarding gender discrimination and sexual harassment in public history.

She is a co-founder of the Gender Equity in Museums Movement (GEMM), which is focusing its recent efforts on education, advocacy, and policy development around pay equity, salary transparency, and sexual harassment in the museum workplace.

She is a frequent workshop/webinar presenter on issues of museum ethics, executive leadership, financial management, and board roles and responsibilities. In addition to teaching the AASLH Online Course Leadership and Administration for History Organizations, she developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for the American Association of State and Local History’s STEPS program, a national standards program for history museums.

Facilitates Basics of Archives

Charlie Arp has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University where he specialized in archival studies. From 1991 to 2003 he worked at the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) where he held a variety of positions including archival processor, reference archivist, Head of Reference, Assistant State Archivist and State Archivist. As Assistant State Archivist he was the digital projects coordinator and he formed and chaired the Ohio Electronic Records Committee, an interdisciplinary group formed to draft electronic records policy, guidelines, and best practices for state and local governments in Ohio.  As State Archivist he was a senior level manager responsible for the planning, coordination, and administration of the operations of the State Archives including the Local Government Records program and the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor Archives/Library.

In 2003 Charlie was hired by the Battelle Memorial Institute as Enterprise Content Manager. At Battelle Charlie pioneered managing electronic records in lieu of paper records. Charlie also supervised the Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) archives.

GLP records fall under FDA regulations to ensure that the records documenting scientific research for substances put in or on humans are created reliably and maintained authentically over time. In 2015 Charlie tested and validated the use of an electronic management program to enable Battelle to create, manage, preserve and use electronic records as part of submissions to the FDA.

In early 2016 Charlie accepted an offer for early retirement from Battelle. Since then he has started an archival and records management consulting firm and is writing a book on archives.

Facilitates Introduction to Financial Management and Financial Structures and Strategy

Rebekah Beaulieu, Ph.D. is the Louise Taft Semple President & CEO of the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. She previously served as Director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut and as Associate Director at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. She serves as Treasurer of AASLH and on the faculty of AASLH’s History Leadership Institute. Becky is also an Accreditation Commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums.

Becky is the author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017 and of Endowment Essentials for Museums (2022). She holds an M.A in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and in Arts Administration from Columbia University; she earned her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.

Facilitates Project Management for History Professionals

Lisa Craig Brisson is the Executive Director for the Michigan Museums Association. She took the AALSH Project Management for History Professionals workshop in 2014 and applied the principals she learned to her organization, which is now thriving. She also took the online course by AASLH, has spent hundreds of house learning how to best use Project Management, and is working toward her certification. This is the first time that Lisa has taught this course, but she is excited share her enthusiasm for the process.

Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Lisa received her B.A. in history and secondary education from the University of St. Thomas and an M.A. in History from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. She has worked for or done history or museum-related project with the Minnesota Historical Society, Ramsey County (MN) Historical Society, Old Sturbridge Village (MA), The Farmer’s Museum (NY), Mackinac State Historic Parks, the Visitor Studies Association, the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education, North Central Michigan College, the Cheboygan Area Public Library/Museum on Main Street, Central Michigan University, Harbor Springs Historical Society, and the Mackinac Island Center for the Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula (MI) Arts and Culture Alliance, and the Coalition of State Museum Associations.

Lisa lives in the Straits of Mackinac region of Michigan, where Lakes Michigan and Huron join and the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan are closest together. She lives with her husband, Steve, and their youngest child, who graduates from high school this spring. In the winter they live in Cheboygan, near the tip of the Lower Peninsula and in the summer they live on an island, where her husband is the director for Mackinac State Historic Parks. In her free time, Lisa enjoys downhill skiing, doing jigsaw puzzles, knitting hats, and hosting summer Happy Hours.

Facilitates Museum Education and Outreach

Jenn Edginton is the Director of Interpretation at the Illinois State Museum and a doctoral student in First Nations Education at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a certificate in Museum Studies from Michigan State University, and a Master of Science in education from the University of Kansas. She has been working in museum education for over 18 years and has held positions in the education departments at various museums including Kenosha Public Museum, The Field Museum, Naper Settlement, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Her current work focuses on making social sciences inclusive and accessible to all learners. She has presented at various national conferences, including National Council for the Social Studies, American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), and American Alliance of Museums (AAM) on inclusive and accessible museum education programming. Jenn is a member of the AASLH Educators and Interpreters Committee and serves on AAM’s Education Professional Network (EdCom). She was also a member of the AASLH 2020 History Leadership Institute cohort and co-authored a chapter in Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites.

In Jenn’s free time, she enjoys reading, being outside, and exploring local history.

Facilitates Caring for Museum Collections

Email: rebecca@elderpreservation.com

Rebecca Elder is an experienced cultural heritage preservation consultant who helps clients find practical and achievable solutions to care for their history collections. She collaborates with libraries, museums, archives, municipalities and families to tailor preservation plans to their resources and timelines.

In 2014, Rebecca founded Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation to provide preservation advice to clients holding history collections. Rebecca has also worked at Amigos Library Services, the Harvard University Libraries and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Rebecca received her MSIS and a Certificate of Advanced Studies for Conservation of Library and Archival Materials from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, and now is adjunct faculty at the iSchool, teaching Preservation Management and Treatment Techniques for Bound Materials.  She also serves as coordinator for the National Heritage Responders, a team of volunteer conservators and allied professionals who respond to disasters.

Rebecca is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. She also engages in professional service with the American Institute for Conservation, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Southwest Archivists, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

Rebecca lives in Austin, TX with her four cats: Frankie, Princess Snowball, Thingy and Tucker the Most Interesting Cat In The World (@heytuckercat on Instagram). She knits obsessively, collects smashed pennies, and isn’t afraid to admit that she loves 1970s white polyester jumpsuit Elvis.  Looking to connect? Head to www.elderpreservation.com. She’ll be glad you did.

Facilitates Developing Exhibitions: Design

Jenney Fazande is an experienced and creative designer with more than ten years experience in exhibit development, fabrication and museum administration. Holding a Master of Arts in Exhibition Design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Jenney has worked with museums and galleries of all sizes, including The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The National WWII Museum, The Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Design Atlanta, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, and more. Jenney has also collaborated with community artists working in varying mediums to bring unique installations to life in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington DC.

Experienced in all aspects of exhibit development and management – from design, fabrication and installation to accompanying marketing, public programs and financial oversight – Jenney can effectively translate concepts into compelling installations. An emerging leader in the museum field, Jenney was awarded the 2017 PACE SETTER Award by the Association of African American Museums for her innovative traveling exhibit, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II, which has been on display across the country since 2016.

 

Profile headshot of woman against pink background Facilitates Developing Exhibitions: Planning

Christina Ferwerda is an independent museum consultant specializing in content, exhibit, and curriculum development, and has been creating exhibits and programs with international museum clients since 2001. She is known for infusing cultural experiences with joy, wonder, and fun by drawing on her work as an educator in New York City. Christina develops content into compelling storylines and interactive experiences that engage multiple modes of learning. She has worked for a wide range of clients, including the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC), Wyckoff House Museum (Brooklyn, NY), National Archives (Washington, DC), and the D&H Canal Museum (High Falls, NY). She is enthusiastic about supporting the evolution the field as an Adjunct Professor in the Exhibit and Experience Design Master’s Degree Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York.

Facilitates Collections Management

Dr. Erin Richardson facilitates museums’ and cultural organizations’ capacity for mission delivery, particularly relating to art and artifact collections. With over 20 years of experience working with museum communities at Five Colleges, Inc in Amherst, MA, Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY, among other organizations, she founded Frank & Glory in 2018 to assist museums in solving long-term collection problems so that they may effectively serve their communities. Clients include the American Numismatic Society, New Brunswick Museum (Canada), Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and The Olana Partnership. Her research and writing centers on how New York State’s unique chartering policy for museums affects organization health. Richardson holds a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University, a MA in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in American Studies from the SUNY Geneseo.