Online Course: Developing Exhibitions: Planning (Fall 2021)

  • Registration Closed

Session FULL

Please note the Fall Session of Developing Exhibitions: Planning is now full. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list for the Fall Session, email learn@aaslh.orgVisit our 2022 course schedule for upcoming sessions of this course.

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

Developing Exhibitions: Planning is an online course about how to plan exhibitions. This course focuses on developing an understanding of current issues within exhibit development and creation of original planning material 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 and in their institution, and visiting professionals who may join our online chats.

Each week participants will be expected to:

  • 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.


SESSION DATES: August 30 - October 24, 2021

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers / 10% discount for STEPS participants with promo code found in the online STEPS Community

OPEN REGISTRATION: June 1 - August 16, 2021; 30 participant limit

Course Logistics

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

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION: Students should expect to spend approximately 5 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 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


  • 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 (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Participant Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Research and evaluate exhibitions around the country
  • 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

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.

How to Register

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event.

Christina Ferwerda

Developing Exhibitions: Planning Instructor

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.

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event. 

Components visible upon registration.

Cancellation/Refunds for onsite workshops must be submitted in writing via email to or mail to 2021 21st Ave S., Suite 320 Nashville, TN 37212. Cancellations made prior to the early-bird registration deadline date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made between the early-bird deadline date and eight days prior to the workshop will be subject to a $55 processing/materials charge. No refunds will be given within seven days of the workshop date. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

Cancellations/Refunds for online professional development (webinars and online courses) must be submitted in writing via email to 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 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 have any questions, please contact AASLH Professional Development staff at or 615-320-3203.