Museums + Online Learning

Emily Kotecki, USA

In a unique collaboration with the North Carolina Virtual Public School, the North Carolina Museum of Art is developing semester-long high school curricula. We use pieces in our collection as catalysts for teaching game design, photography, videography, fashion and persuasion. Any student enrolled in a public high school in North Carolina can take one of these courses and receive full credit. The online courses offer a virtual window into our museum for students who live hours away from Raleigh and the NCMA.

While an online course cannot replace the act of seeing the objects in person, we try to find innovative ways to engage students with art online. Students participate in discussion forums about the art, log in for weekly live sessions with their instructors, view videos and screencasts, and complete assignments inspired by art in the course.

The courses begin as think tanks where subject experts, art teachers, museum staff, college professors and others develop the course map. Then, some think tank participants serve as course writers while others serve on an advisory panel, offering feedback in Google Docs to reinforce collaboration and transparency throughout the process. The final courses are aligned to essential learning standards to develop visual and digital literacy skills, career readiness, and online collaboration techniques.

From online design to student recruitment to programming complimentary onsite events, I will share best practices from our course development process. I also looking forward to learning from others with a passion for online learning.