A Core Course in the Informal Learning in Museums Professional Certificate Program

Designed For
Staff and volunteers at museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, cultural and natural history museums, nature centers and nonprofits focusing on public education, as well as other professionals conducting science-based outreach at universities, community colleges and other learning centers.
March 30 – May 17, 2020
Online | Instructor-led
$425 (+ $60 registration fee)
Seven weeks
Plan for 5 hours of work per week

Learning is driven by our need to make sense of the world, and we respond to certain environments for complex reasons.This course examines the physical aspect of informal learning environments like parks, museums, aquariums and science centers to understand how visitors respond to and are influenced by design and physical factors. You'll analyze the ways in which learning environment features like entrances, exits, sounds and crowding enhance and guide the informal learning process.

This online course is part of the Informal Learning in Museums Professional Certificate developed by free-choice learning experts John Falk, Lynn Dierking and Sean Rowe based on the innovative Oregon State University graduate program in education.

College Partners

This course is a collaboration between Oregon State University College of Education and Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education.

  • Erin Hicks, M.A.

    Erin is a museum professional with over 10 years of experience working on the design and development of art and history museum exhibits. Erin expanded that experience to include museum education theory and practice as she earned a masters degree in museum studies, specifically following a learning track of visitor experience and education. Her coursework and research focused on interpreting and exhibiting art collections, art education in museums, and administrative topics such as museum planning and the economics of arts and culture. While attending Buffalo State, SUNY, located in Buffalo, New York, Erin was introduced to the study of creativity and the impact that creative problem solving methods could have on critical museum issues by completing coursework at the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) also located at Buffalo State. Erin's academic and professional work in the field culminated into a research project entitled Second Nature: An exploration in planning and design concepts for a place- and community-based museum process.