Congratulations on registering for MSM 211!


Before you do anything else, please introduce yourself to your instructors and classmates by creating an Introduction post. Tell us about yourself and why you signed up for this course.

Once you’re logged into the course webpage you’ll see an option “+ New”. Select that option, create a new post, mark it with Category “Introductions,” and Publish! Check out this short video if you have any trouble.


The instructors and students will collaboratively set the day and time for our weekly synchronous Zoom Meet-Up sessions. Follow this link to a Google Form to pick your preferred day and time. We will pick the day and time with the highest preferred response. To have your vote count you must submit your vote by Wednesday, January 18 at 5:00pm AKST. There will be no exceptions. We will announce the final decision by Thursday, January 19 at 8:00 am AKST.


The majority of the course content will be delivered on this website. The syllabus contains the schedule and grading criteria, and is posted in the link under Course Info. Please be sure to regularly check Canvas for class announcements or changes to the syllabus. Take this survey to share with your instructors your museum background!

What you'll learn

We’ll spend a semester learning about the inner world of museums, how they function, and the many different skills they bring together. We’ll consider museum studies with a wide lens to give you the broadest possible experience and answer critical questions including:

  • What are the different types of museums and what do they do?
  • What kind of museum jobs are available?
  • What other jobs can museum skills prepare you for?
  • How are objects (specimens & artifacts) collected and conserved?
  • How are collections data managed and shared?
  • How do we develop exhibitions and media for the public?
  • What ethical issues do museums face?
  • What are the challenges that museums may face in the future?

What you'll do

Over the course of the semester we’ll have weekly modules structured around themes. Within each module you’ll have required readings and video/audio content. We’ll also provide you with recommended readings and video/audio content, if you find you’re really intrigued by a topic and would like to go even deeper. You can expect to spend up to nine hours to complete all elements of each weekly module.

You will be tested through weekly vocabulary quizzes (over in Canvas), to see how you are recognizing and learning the specialized terminology surrounding museum studies. Quizzes must be completed by Friday of each week.

You are also encouraged to participate in weekly Zoom meet-ups with the core instructors for each module. We will discuss weekly topics and you will have the opportunity to join in to share your own perspectives and ask questions. The day and time of those regular Zoom meetings will be determined once we begin the semester and decide what will work for everyone.

Lastly, each week will be wrapped up as you create a new post in our discussion area summarizing your own answer to our weekly discussion prompt. We recommend writing your post in a word processing program (e.g., MS Word or Google Docs) and then pasting it into the WordPress post. You should end your post with a question for your fellow students. You will also be expected to read your cohorts’ posts and respond to or comment on at least two other posts. Finally, you need to label your post with the appropriate Discussion number for the week. Discussion posts and comments must be completed by Sunday at midnight of each week. Contact the lead instructor if you are unable to complete your post by Sunday.

What you'll need

All of the weekly lessons will be posted here on our class website. You’ll need to have reliable internet access to move through the weekly modules. Our readings are posted at Google Drive and you’ll need to use your UAF Google account to access those shared readings. There will be announcements and quizzes over at Canvas, which you’ll also access through your UAF email account.

Your instructors will use your UAF Google email exclusively for announcements and Zoom meet-up access. Please be sure you use it!

We may occasionally ask you to post photos on social media accounts (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) using the hashtag #UAFMSM211. Please discuss with the instructors if you are unable or unwilling to use your social media accounts for this purpose or you do not have the technical capabilities to complete this task.

What you'll get

Through our unique collaboration with Museums Alaska, the statewide museum professional support organization in Alaska, you are eligible for a free one-year student membership! Contact your lead instructor for details on how to redeem this valuable offer! Only registered students will be eligible for this offer.

handy links

The menus on this website should provide you all the information you need to successfully complete this course. Here are a few additional links to organizations and resources you might find useful.