Facebook script
Choice Based Art Education

Choice-Based Art Education

Studies show that when students have more choice in how they learn, they gain confidence, and confidence translates to more positive interactions and engagement within the classroom. In this course, you will examine various choice-based learning approaches in the art room with a critical eye towards their impact on assessment, advocacy, and management strategies. You will walk away with new ideas for how to incorporate more choice into your practice as well as revised, applicable classroom approaches and curriculum for your art room.

For the official course description, see the course syllabus or Graduate Catalog.

Required Materials

The Open Art Room (2018): Purtee & Sands, ISBN: 978-16152-8677-5

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • Basic computing skills (see AOEU’s Technology Requirements)
  • Access to AOEU’s online learning platform, Brightspace, to view the course content, submit assignments, and engage in discussion (provided)
  • Word-processing platform (Microsoft Office, Pages, Google Docs)
Graduate Credits
All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1197.00
Mon 9 Sun
Nov 1 Weeks Jan 2
Upcoming Course Run Dates
Nov 1 Jan 2
Dec 6 Feb 6
Jan 3 Feb 27
Feb 7 Apr 3
Mar 7 May 1
Only 1 day remaining to enroll in the next section of this course.
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE022

Course Objectives

  • Assess a variety of choice-based art education philosophies.
  • Evaluate effective instructional and management strategies for integrating choice in the art classroom.
  • Create authentic, student-directed, learner-centered experiences using current research in the field.
  • Design authentic, student-directed, student-centered learning experiences from the bottom up.
  • Create practical assessment and self-reflection tools.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
What is Choice?
  1. Explore a variety of programs that use different levels of choice.
  2. Examine the different levels of choice and the variety of ways that they can be implemented in the classroom.
Week 2
The Choice-Based Space
  1. Tour the classroom of a fellow educator and pay special attention to how the environment plays an important role in encouraging student autonomy.
  2. Create a plan to improve or create a classroom space that supports a choice-based approach.
Week 3
Instructional Organization and Planning
  1. Explore instructional planning resources that will support you both now and in the future.
  2. Create a curriculum matrix or lesson plan that incorporates choice-based approaches.
Week 4
Introductions and Demonstrations
  1. Examine the logistics of bringing your choice-based lessons to life.
  2. Explore a variety of ways to demonstrate ideas and approaches to students in your unique teaching environment.
Week 5
Classroom Management
  1. Learn a variety of tactics to aid in choice-based classroom management.
  2. Create a comprehensive classroom management plan.
Week 6
  1. Discover practical approaches to measure student growth in authentic ways.
  2. Design a record-keeping tool to help you track student learning.
Week 7
  1. Consider ways to foster and celebrate student voice in the classroom through exhibition.
  2. Create a documentation sample to serve as an example for students.
Week 8
  1. Reflect on your choice-based journey from the beginning to the end.

Choice-Based Space

A sample assignment from Week 2 of the class Choice-Based Art Education

1. Research

Explore the classroom of a fellow educator as you identify important environmental factors when facilitating a choice-based agenda. Conduct research to learn more about the choice-based space and gather additional strategies to adopt in your classroom.

2. Discussion

How will learner-centered philosophies change your current classroom setup? How do you think students feel each time they walk into a choice-based classroom? How do you want students to feel when they walk into your classroom? How can you foster this reaction?

3. Practical, Hands-On Application

Consider the steps you can take to transform your classroom and empower students. Craft an action plan to either improve an existing space or create a brand new classroom that allows the level of choice you desire.
"This class changed my mind about a lot of fundamental assumptions in the world of education. I felt myself becoming a more flexible teacher and know that my students will directly benefit from the knowledge and skills I gained in this class."
Dave T., CA
"This class solidified a dream I had of having more choice in my program and gave me the confidence to start! Dr. McWilliams is by far the best instructor I've had yet!"
Melissa C., TN
"I love the way the course was laid out, the activities we completed were relevant and I will use them, and the instructor provided detailed and constructive criticism. "
Nichole M., MD

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course Choice-Based Art Education. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12-month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 1/28/2021)


Course content was relevant and current.


Instructor was knowledgeable and provided value-added contributions.


I achieved the goals I set at the beginning of the course. 

Let's Get Started

If you know what you need, then go ahead and register.

Don't worry if you still have questions. Our admissions counselors keep up with the requirements for teachers in your state and can help you choose a course that's right for you and your career.

All you have to do is reach out.

Call Us 515.650.3198 8 am - 5 pm CST (M-F)
Text Us 515.650.3198 We'll respond within 24 hours (M-F)
Email help@theartofeducation.edu We'll respond within 24 hours (M-F)
Contact the Registrar

You have been withdrawn due to violation of program policies and are unable to enroll.

Please contact the Registrar (registrar@theartofeducation.edu) with questions.