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.
September 23 - November 10, 2019
Online | Instructor-led
$425 (+ $60 registration fee)
Seven weeks
Plan for 5 hours of work per week

This course investigates the fundamental roles in the psychology of learning, including identity, motivation, interest, prior knowledge and experience, choice and control play in supporting lifelong learning.  Study how learning leaders can build on these dimensions to successfully build and engage lifelong learners through experiences in museums, zoos, aquariums and home school settings.

This course will be richly illustrated by real world examples of learning in free-choice settings and be designed to support future learning leader's efforts to engage diverse audiences and facilitate lifelong learning in science and mathematics.

This is a core component course of OSU's online Informal Learning in Museums Professional Certificate Program.


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.