Innovators in Online Learning

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Expanding Education in the Visual Arts

What inspires an artist to create a piece of artwork? Art Appreciation and American Identity is an online course for high school students that seeks to help them tackle questions such as this. In partnership with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, EdTech Leaders Online has developed an online course that challenges students to examine and interpret works of American art, as well as explore the process of curation. For students across Arkansas and the rest of the country, this course immerses them in an experience that blends art history and exploration, drawing heavily on the Crystal Bridges collections to engage them in what it means to make, understand, and discuss works of art.

In addition to learning about the art itself, students also explore how the artists were raised, their point of entry into the field, and their chief influences.

The course launched through Virtual Arkansas with a pilot group of about 40 students from all over the state. During the course, students read about the art and engage with multimedia materials to ascertain some context about the art, artist, and historical time period. For many students, this marks the first time they have taken an online course.