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Visible Thinking in the Museum Online Course

Visible Thinking in the Museum Online (VTMO) is an 8 module interactive online course with a combination of self-directed study and live tutorials with Claire Bown.

It is suitable for:

  • individuals who would like to learn how to lead interactive tours & programmes about art and museum objects. VTMO is divided up into VTMO BeginnersIntermediate and Advanced courses for individuals. 
  • organisations who want to support and offer professional development to their team members (teams of museum guides, heritage educators, docents and volunteers).

“Join me, Claire from Thinking Museum, as I guide you step-by-step through my method ‘Visible Thinking in the Museum (VTM)’ for creating engaging group discussions with art and objects.I’m a guide training and engagement specialist. Drawing on 20+ years of experience in the field, I founded Thinking Museum in 2013. I design and facilitate training courses (in-person, online, hybrid) for museum educators and guides, mediators and docents, heritage guides, teachers and volunteers in all aspects of inquiry-based techniques for guided tours and museum programmes”

Claire Bown Thinking Museum

This course is for you if you…

  • want to make your tours and programmes more interactive, but don’t know where to start
  • would like to balance sharing your knowledge with making your programmes engaging
  • have had some training in interactive methods, but you still find it hard to lead interactive programmes
  • have spent countless hours trying to master the art of asking the right questions
  • lead a team of guides that are used to traditional walk-and-talk style tours and programmes?

Help is at hand.

The Visible Thinking in the Museum Online (VTMO) course will teach you to confidently lead lively discussions about art and museum objects that will make your tours, guided discussions & educational programmes more engaging and interactive.

“These classes are great. You give wonderful directions in a calm and thoughtful way and pace the lessons beautifully. It looks like you also have a very eager and engaged set of students as well”

Ron Ritchhart, Senior Research Associate, Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education]

Bjorg Stefansdottir

Thanks Claire for an amazing course! I learned so many new things and methods and getting to know you and all the other participants was such an incredible experience. I feel that the way that you structure and organise the course online made us all feel like we are a part of something!

I didn’t really know what VTMO was before the course, but was very curious to learn more about it. The course was in my opinion perfect – super well-organised and much more personal than I would have expected.

And it was amazing that I managed to get to know the women in the class from all over the world so well! Claire, you are a master of making things interesting!

Bjorg Stefansdottir, Iceland, Director International Office, University of Iceland

On the VTMO Course you will learn how to

  •  Be confident in leading inquiry-based discussions
  •  Design, lead and manage engaging discussions about art, objects and ideas
  • Use 20+ thinking routines for group, individual and for personal use
  •  Formulate and generate brilliant questions that get results
  •  Give your discussions a flexible structure and substance
  •  Know how, when and if to share your knowledge
  •  Deploy basic and advanced facilitation skills to engage any audience
Mary Ann Lancaster

VTMO exceeded my expectations. Each session live was amazing. I always felt engaged as activities, provoking questions, “chat” helped to hold interest continually in each session.There were lots of opportunities to contribute and the online course was so interactive.

The course was nicely paced, with variety of interaction, discussion, developing knowledge and practice of thinking routines. The flexibility of thinking routines to increase engagement is unsurpassed. 

VTMO was stimulating, thought-provoking, engaging and totally inspirational. Thank you, Claire

Mary Ann Lancaster, UK, Museum, Gallery & Cultural Learning

Who is the VTMO course for?

  • Teams or individuals
  • Teams of educators & guides at museums, heritage & cultural organisations
  • Teams of teachers, Educators and Learning Practitioners
  • Museum & Heritage Educators
  • Museum & heritage guides, museum docents & volunteers
  • Freelancers, creatives and entrepreneurs working in the cultural sphere
Tali Krikler

This has been such an inspiring course. I really feel I have grown from the whole experience.

My main experience from participating in the course is how the structured routines really, really help focus attention on one

image for an extended period of time. I am also reminded how powerful collaborative learning experiences are. I do love how you can learn from others’ experience and knowledge.

I love that by practicing thinking routines we are challenging our own perceptions, learning from each other and really growing. I also love the simplicity and elegance of the routines but how they get you to engage/reflect critically and deeply with the material.

I have since got some new work with a wellbeing team using VT as a way of connecting the team who are all working at home. I am also doing a session for a synagogue community!

This course has changed my whole way of working/thinking/developing ideas.

Thanks so much!

Tali KriklerFreelance Learning and Participation Specialist at Tali Krikler Learning and Participation