An image of a building sitting on a green lawn under a blue sky behind a purple banner that reads “AASLH Online Course Museum and Education Outreach” with a white icon that reads “Small Museum Pro!”

Online Course: Museum Education and Outreach

Museum and Education Outreach

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.

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.

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

Sample Curriculum

  • 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

Texts Used

Required:

Anna Johnson, Kimberly A. Huber, Nancy Cutler, Melissa Bingmann and Tim Grove. The Museum Educator’s Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques (2nd ed). The text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.

Details

FORMAT: Online, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Bi-weekly (every-other-week) real-time online chats; weekly assignments; final course assignment

MATERIALS: One required text (see below)

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

Logistics

COURSE DATES: March 25 - May 17, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: February 15 - March 20, 2019; 30 Participant limit

 

REGISTER HERE

 

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.

Instructor

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.


The inside of a museum is shown underneath an orange banner that reads

Online Course: Developing Exhibitions (Two Part Course)

This two-part class is about how to put together an exhibition, from deciding what it will be about and why, to gathering, creating and arranging all the elements for visitors.  You’ll learn a lot from your classmates – from their own experiences and from the resources that they share with all of us. And you’ll learn the best way: by doing – you will develop an actual exhibit over the course of the class.

Both parts of this course must be taken in order to receive a certificate of completion and fulfill the requirements of the Small Museum Pro! series.

DATES: Part 1: October 22 – December 17, 2018; Part 2: January 22 – March 15, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: August 13 – October 22, 2018. Please note that your registration is for BOTH PART 1 & PART 2 of this course. Registration limited to 25 people.

Register Here

Course Logistics:

FORMAT: Online, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: Two 8-week sessions

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Three scheduled real-time chats (one required); assignments

MATERIALS: One required text (See below)

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

Description & Outcomes:

This class is about how to put together an exhibition, from deciding what it will be about and why, to gathering, creating and arranging all the elements for visitors.  You’ll learn a lot from your classmates – from their own experiences and from the resources that they share with all of us. And you’ll learn the best way: by doing – you will develop an actual exhibit plan over the course of the class.

Each week you will be expected to:

  • 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.

At the end of the class, you will:

  • Know how to develop, create and evaluate an exhibition – you will have developed a real exhibit;
  • Be familiar with other resources for more information; and
  • Have a network of small-museum professionals with whom to confer on future exhibits.

Texts Used

Required:

Exhibit Makeovers, A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums by Alice Parman, Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis (Second Edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). The text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.

Who should attend:

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.

Register Here

Instructors:

Alice Parman has spent a lifetime in museums. After earning a Ph.D. in Education (University of Chicago), Alice joined the education staff at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. There she worked to help teachers use the museum’s resources more effectively, then chaired the Department of Education from 1973–1978 (as the Field’s first woman manager). From 1978–1982 she was director of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History; from 1982–1988 she served as director of WISTEC (now The Science Factory), also in Eugene. In 1989, Alice joined Formations Inc., a Portland-based exhibit design/build firm with a national clientele. After 14 years as Senior Planner/Writer for Formations, she launched her own consulting business in September 2003. She is co-author, with Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis, of Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Ann Craig (BA, History and Asian Studies, 2000, University of Oregon; MA, Arts Management, Museum Studies, 2006, University of Oregon) is the Director of Public Programs at The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. Ann has been with the museum since 2005, where she oversees educational programming and exhibitions for all audiences. She is a board member with the Oregon Museum Association, chair of the Museums of Springfield and Eugene (MUSE) and a member of the Lane County Cultural Coalition.

 


Two women are seen working at a computer behind a green banner that reads

Online Course: Project Management for History Professionals

Do you often juggle several projects, trying to keep each one focused and on track? Project management provides valuable training that will help you organize, manage, and successfully complete projects. This online course shows you how to implement internationally recognized project management principles in a history/nonprofit context.

Details:

DATES: October 15 – November 9, 2018

COST: $350 AASLH members/$425 nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: August 10 - October 15, 2018; 25 person max

Register

Logistics:

FORMAT: Online, self-paced weekly modules

LENGTH: 4 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly online chats; Students should expect to spend 5-7 hours per week on the course

MATERIALS: There are no required materials for this course. All materials will be provided within the online classroom.

Description & Outcomes:

Coursework will cover all of the details included in the four steps to successful project management:

  1. Define (creating a project charter, setting initial objectives, identifying risks and constraints, and more)
  2. Plan (developing a schedule, budget, etc.)
  3. Manage (providing feedback, negotiating for resources and resolving differences)
  4. Review (turning over deliverables, documentation and more)

Using a real-life project they bring to the course, participants apply project management principles to complete a project charter and scope diagram they can then use to begin or continue their project in an efficient, orderly and open manner.

This course consists of four modules that include assignments, quizzes, and other activities. While the first week’s module is guided, the rest are self-paced. Weekly online chats provide opportunities for students to interact with the instructor and each other.

Students should expect to spend five to seven hours per week on the course.

Who should attend:

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.

Participant Feedback:

“Project management is usually discussed in terms of software development or construction management. It was so helpful to see its value within a humanities context. This is some of the best professional development I have ever experienced. Excellent instruction.” – 2015 participant

Instructor:

AASLH welcomes Gina Minks as its new project management instructor. For the past five years, Gina has had her own consulting business and taught project management classes for the University of North Texas. She has also taught for the Library Information Technology Association and the Society of American Archivists. Prior to that, she served as the Imaging and Preservation service manager for Amigos Library Services where she managed NEH grants. Gina is active in professional associations including her current service as a board member for the Society of American Archivists Foundation. She is also a member of the National Heritage Responders and has been part of disaster recovery after Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Wilma, and Super Storm Sandy.


A stack of books and binders is shown behind a purple banner with the text

Online Course: Leadership and Administration in History Organizations

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 matters, regardless of the size or focus of your organization.

Administration and leadership matter, regardless the size or focus of your organization. This online course covers governance and administrative structure, nonprofit status, mission and vision, board and staff responsibilities, the relationship between board and staff, strategic planning, human resource management, and leadership.

Details:

DATES: September 17 – November 12, 2018

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: August 8 – September 14, 2018; 20 Person Limit

Register Here

Logistics:

FORMAT: Online, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly real-time telephone and online chats (schedule to be determined based on student availability); weekly assignments; final course assignment

MATERIALS: Two recommended texts (See below)

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

Description & Outcomes:

During the nine 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 includes a combination of topical reading assignments and related weekly assignments and online chats. A final course assignment is due the last week of class.

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.

Sample Curriculum

  • Week 1: Course overview; an inside look at nonprofits, public trust and governance
  • Week 2: Museum Boards, Their Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations, and Their Relationship to Museum Staff
  • Week 3: The Importance of Museum Vision and Mission
  • Week 4:  Administrative and Management Responsibilities, Relationships, Structures, Systems and Networks
  • Week 5:  Human Resource Management – Building Effective Teams and Mentoring
  • Week 6:  Why Leadership Matters, At All Levels
  • Week 7:  Charting Your Museum’s Future and Measuring Effectiveness
  • Week 8:  Putting It All Together: Where the Field is Heading and How You Fit In

Texts Used (sold separately)

Recommended Texts:

Anne W. Ackerson and Joan Baldwin, Leadership Matters, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780759121850/Leadership-Matters

Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Ireland (revised by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko), Museum Administration 2.0, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442255524/Museum-Administration-2.0

Who Should Attend:

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.

Register Here

Instructor

In a career spanning three decades, Anne Ackerson has served as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in central and eastern New York, the director of the Museum Association of New York, and now currently serves as the executive director of the National Council of State Archivists.

In 1997 Anne began an independent consulting practice focusing on organizational development issues for the smaller nonprofit cultural institution. She writes regularly about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design. 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 this course, 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.


Online Course: Basics of Archives

The newly revised 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.

Register

Details:

November 15-December 15, 2017

15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the above dates.

Cost: $85 members/$160 nonmembers

Register

Full Online Course Description:

The newly revised 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 five lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach

The course is web-based and takes 15-20 hours to complete. There are no required times to be online. You may finish the course anytime during the four-week course period.

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.

Register

About the Instructor: 

Charles Arp is the Enterprise Content Manager-IT at the Battelle Memorial Institute. Previously, he worked for the Ohio Historical Society for thirteen years, ultimately becoming Ohio's State Archivist. Charlie has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University.

Register

Online Course: Project Management for History Professionals

 

Do you often juggle several projects, trying to keep each one focused and on track? Project management provides valuable training that will help you organize, manage, and successfully complete projects. This online course shows you how to implement internationally recognized project management principles in a history context.

Details: 

Format: Online Course

Dates: October 16 - November 10, 2017

Cost: $350 AASLH members/$425 nonmembers

Register

Do you often juggle several projects, trying to keep each one focused and on track? Project management provides valuable training that will help you organize, manage, and successfully complete projects. This online course shows you how to implement internationally recognized project management principles in a history context.

project flow chart

Coursework will cover all of the details included in the four steps to successful project management:

  1. Define (creating a project charter, setting initial objectives, identifying risks and constraints, and more)
  2. Plan (developing a schedule, budget, etc.)
  3. Manage (providing feedback, negotiating for resources and resolving differences)
  4. Review (turning over deliverables, documentation and more)

Using real project ideas, participants apply project management principles to complete a project charter and scope diagram they can then use to begin or continue their real-life project in an efficient, orderly and open manner.

This recently redesigned course consists of four modules that include assignments, quizzes, and other activities. While the first week’s module is guided, the rest are self-paced. Weekly online chats provide opportunities for students to interact with the instructor and each other. Students should expect to spend five to seven hours per week on the course.

Project management is usually discussed in terms of software development or construction management. It was so helpful to see its value within a humanities context. This is some of the best professional development I have ever experienced. Excellent instruction. 2015 Workshop participant

 

Who should attend:

Project Management is valuable training for staff at all levels. And, 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.
 About the Instructor:
 The course is taught by Steven Hoskins, Ph.D., author of AASLH’s Technical Leaflet (#260) “Calculating Risk: A Guide to Project Management for History Professionals.”
Register

Online Course: Basics of Archives

The newly revised 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.

Register

Details:

May 22-June 23, 2017

15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the above dates

Cost: $85 members/$160 nonmembers

Register

Full Online Course Description:

The newly revised 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 five lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach

The course is web-based and takes 15-20 hours to complete. There are no required times to be online. You may finish the course anytime during the four-week course period.

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.

Register

About the Instructor: 

Charles Arp is the Enterprise Content Manager-IT at the Battelle Memorial Institute. Previously, he worked for the Ohio Historical Society for thirteen years, ultimately becoming Ohio's State Archivist. Charlie has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University.

Register

Online Course: Caring for Museum Collections

This course is full. Please look at our calendar for upcoming online courses.

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.

Details: 

Format: Online Course

Dates: April 3- May 31, 2017

Cost: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

This course is full. Please look at our calendar for upcoming online courses.

Full Online 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.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • 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.
  • Know how to perform a risk assessment of your museum and use it to write a disaster plan.
This course is full. Please look at our calendar for upcoming online courses.

Who should attend:

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. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.
Small Museum Pro:
Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro certificate from AASLH.
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Samantha Forsko is a Preservation Specialist at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.

This course is full. Please look at our calendar for upcoming online courses.

Ready to Learn? 8 Upcoming Continuing Education Events You Should Know About

Upcoming in AASLH's Continuing Education Series are webinars (two are free for members), workshops, and online courses. Register today to secure you spot. Visit our online calendar for an up-to-date list of all our continuing education opportunities.

Lights, Camera, Action, Oh My! Filming At Your Historic Site
June 2, 3-4pm EST
Webinar (Historic House Call)
Cost: FREE for AASLH Members/ $40 for Nonmembers

Collections Camp: Military History
June 22-24
Workshop in Raleigh, NC
Cost: $300 AASLH Members/ $425 Nonmembers

Collections Care YOU Can Do and What to Leave to Conservators
June 22, 2-3:30pm EST
Webinar (StEPs Lab)
Cost: $25 StEPs Organizations/ $40 AASLH Members/ $115 Nonmembers

Project Management for History Professionals
July 12-13
Workshop in Columbus, OH
Cost: $475 AASLH Members/$550 Nonmembers
($40 off all registration before June 15)

Interpreting American Military History at Museums and Historic Sites
July 28, 3-4:15pm EST
Webinar
Cost: $40 AASLH Members/ $65 Nonmembers

Religion and Historic House Interpretation
August 16, 3-4pm EST
Webinar (Historic House Call)
Cost: FREE for AASLH Members/ $40 Nonmembers
(Registration opens June 1)

Project Management for History Professionals
October 17-November 11
Online Course
Cost: $350 AASLH Members / $425 Nonmembers

Basics of Archives
October 24-November18
Online Course
Cost: $85 AASLH Members/$160 Nonmembers
(Registration Opens August 1)


Leadership Matters at Every Level

I wasn’t the typical student in the most recent Leadership and Administration in History Organizations online course through AASLH. I’m not a director of a museum. I’m not a vice-president. I’m not even a manager. My museum doesn’t remotely qualify as small, nor is does it deal solely in history content. But my status as an educator at a mid-size natural history museum only encouraged a more engaged and active participation in the course, and offered me a unique takeaway. The Leadership and Administration in History Organizations (LAHO) course drew directors and leaders from history organizations across the country, all who wanted to learn more about the inner workings of their own organizations and how to better serve their boards, staff, volunteers, and communities.

31phccinM9L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_We gathered online nine weeks ago, guided by experienced museum leader Anne W. Ackerson. Anne guided us through online discussions, weekly assignments, and a final project that allowed us to investigate our organizations’ foundations, examine internal policies, and understand the importance of our roles as leaders. The course was structured to lead us through administrative processes from the ground up; we began with foundational documents, defining non-profit status and goals, slowly moved through board development, governance, guiding mission statements and ended by planning for the future with strategic plan thinking.

I was thrilled to be a part of this course and learning alongside museum professionals in different stages in their careers, in different types of organizations, and all facing similar challenges. This course allowed all participants to learn from each other’s experiences and to share successes and failures. The weekly online chats with my course mates helped me understand the unique positions that so many museums find themselves in and reinforced to me that museum professionals are some of the most willing to share. Because of my position within my museum, I didn’t realize the scope and depth of many of our organizational and governing policies. During the LAHO course, I was empowered to get up close and personal to the foundational principles of my museum. This course equipped me with the tools to interrogate our mission statement, identifying ways we excel at fulfilling it and places where we can uphold it more. But possibly the most important takeaway I got from the eight weeks of Anne’s guidance was the role I play within my organization. No, I am not a director, vice president, or manager, but I can lead from where I am. And I can encourage my peers to do the same.

F7OLW2SG0C (1)No matter your position within an organization, no matter if you are in a large natural history museum, or a small history museum, give yourself the opportunity to take this, or a similar, course. You may be like me and not see the immediate necessity of staff and board relations or human resources policies, but I guarantee that you’ll leave the course better equipped to understand your museum and the field we all work in. You’ll change your thinking to reflect bigger, more long-term impacts of programming, and find ways to challenge past practices. No matter your experience you’ll leave this course empowered to be a better professional.

________

Leadership and Administration in History Organizations was part of the AASLH Continuing Education Series, a roster of unique and recurring webinars, online courses, and onsite workshops designed for history professionals. Our next Leadership and Administration online course will be held from Jan. 9- Mar 6. 2017. Registration is now open. is Project Management for History Professionals. Visit our Event Calendar for a full list of upcoming continuing education opportunities.