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  • Convenient online courses delivered in a simple, user-friendly way via computer, tablet or mobile device.
  • Enrollment is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Courses are activated immediately following registration.
  • Course fees include online access to all course materials and a certificate of completion.
  • Graduate credit provided through accredited Humboldt State University for an additional fee. (See "Graduate Credit" page for details)

Multi-course discounts available

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2017-18 Professional Development Courses

Dealing with Difficult Parents
Course Fee: $160.00
Credits: 2
description
reviews
outline
This course will help teachers, principals, superintendents and all educators increase their skills in working with the most challenging parents you come in contact with. Additionally, educators can learn and develop specific strategies to help deliver less than positive news in an appropriate manner to all of our constituents. We will also provide tools that can help you build credibility with all parents. This can increase the level of trust and support that is imperative in building the needed parent–school relationship, which will allow greater success for all students. Initiating positive contact with parents is essential in this process. For all educators, if we do not initiate positive contact with parents, then the only contact we may have is negative. When we get into this pattern, then we become very hesitant to inform or even interact with the adults in our students' lives. Being able to comfortably and effectively make educator-initiated contact with parents is a skill that all of us must learn and practice.Many of the situations we face are challenging. This course will provide you with specific language, understanding, and resources that you can immediately use in interacting with every parent in your community.

Course Reviews

"This class made me realize that parents act a certain way because of current situations or their past experiences. In order for us as educators to understand where our students are coming from, it is important for us to understand their parents' situations. Households have changed dramatically over the last several years and there are many more single-parent homes and homeless children. Many parents are doing their best, the best they know how. It is our job as educators to help them realize the importance of helping their children receive the best education that they can receive. All parents want what is best for their children, they just don't know how to get it. It is our job to help them realize how they can help."
-- H.M. from Oregon


"After reflecting on this course, I feel like I have gained much knowledge about the importance of working with parents and getting them involved, and how to do so appropriately. I know that home-school collaboration and parent involvement are extremely important for helping students learn. When parents are actively involved in their children's education and are aware of the happenings in the classroom, students benefit because they are more supported and feel better about their school experience. Having taken this course, I will now always try to get parents involved by communicating with them regularly and asking them to share their input. While I often communicate with parents via phone calls, in person meetings, and email, I should also use more social media, as this is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. For example, I have found that websites and certain iphone apps are great tools for communicating with parents. I've learned that students recognize when their parents and teachers are working together and they perform better as a result. Therefore, I plan on continuing to implement these practices in the future in order to increase student learning."
-- B.S. from Illinois


"There is a great deal to learn in this course. In reading through the modules and some of the case examples of situations and conversations with parents, it made me remember many of the dealings that I have encountered through the years. It reinforced my experiences and how I dealt with past situations and also made me look at how I could have handled a few cases different. Overall, this course has been a great learning experience for me."
-- W.O. from Ohio

Course Outline
Dealing with Difficult Parents

Course Fee: $160
Standard Course Time: 30 hours
Semester Credits: Two (2) academic credits at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics
Authors: Todd Whitaker, Ph.D. and Douglas J. Fiore Ph.D.

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Introduction/Course Description:

One of the most challenging and potentially unnerving tasks that we as educators deal with on a regular basis is interacting with parents. This may not be true of all parents, or maybe even most parents, but there is always that parent who is a special challenge. The parent who is bossy, volatile, argumentative, aggressive, or maybe the worst—apathetic—can even make us question our abilities and ourselves. As educators, we are often taken aback the first time we deal with a hostile parent. We might be uncomfortable, intimidated, or just caught off guard. However, if we do not figure out effective and appropriate ways to interact with these parents, we may become apprehensive about communicating with other parents. Eventually, this may lead to a general discomfort or fear any time we have contact with parents.

Being able to successfully interact in these situations is essential. Developing phrases to use, being able to control the dialogue, and being sensitive to trigger words to avoid are skills that are learned through experience. However, it is valuable to have specific language that is appropriate for multiple situations that allows us to accomplish our needs—and hopefully even allows us to develop a more positive relationship with these parents for the future.

Another tough situation that all educators face is delivering bad news to good parents. Being able to do this effectively and in an appropriate manner is critical to developing needed support from parents. This is true whether telling parents about a discipline situation, recommending placement in a special needs program, or informing them about a child's struggles with grades. Establishing and expanding a repertoire of tools is a critical need for everyone in education.

This course will help teachers, principals, superintendents and all educators increase their skills in working with the most challenging parents you come in contact with. Additionally, educators can learn and develop specific strategies to help deliver less than positive news in an appropriate manner to all of our constituents. We will also provide tools that can help you build credibility with all parents. This can increase the level of trust and support that is imperative in building the needed parent–school relationship, which will allow greater success for all students. Initiating positive contact with parents is essential in this process. For all educators, if we do not initiate positive contact with parents, then the only contact we may have is negative. When we get into this pattern, then we become very hesitant to inform or even interact with the adults in our students' lives. Being able to comfortably and effectively make educator-initiated contact with parents is a skill that all of us must learn and practice.

Many of the situations we face are challenging. This course will provide you with specific language, understanding, and resources that you can immediately use in interacting with every parent in your community.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One : An Overview

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the term "parent" and define its meaning when used throughout this course.
  • Understand that parents are doing the best they know how, and our positive outlook as teachers can be productive when dealing with them.
  • Determine whether you argue or speak sarcastically to difficult parents.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two : Today's Parents

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore family configurations of previous generations and identify ways that the current generation of parents differ.
  • Identify how modern day family configurations and wealth contribute to family stress.
  • Develop an understanding of the most typical behaviors of difficult parents.
  • Examine the relationship between a parents perception of school and the message that many in the current media are delivering.
  • Define the differences between the child-centered household and the adult-centered household.
  • Illustrate how past negative experiences and culture can shape attitudes toward our schools.

Project 1: Difficult Students and Difficult Parents
Project 2: Child-Centered Families versus Adult-Centered Families
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three : Communicating with Parents

Learning Objectives:

  • Illustrate how developing trust can create a positive first impression.
  • Introduce elements of positive contact that can result in productive parent relationships.
  • Explore methods of positive communication with parents.
  • Identify the five elements of effective praise.
  • Develop a consistent method for positive contact with parents.
  • Define the importance of healthy relationships and their influence in the creation of positive school-home relationships.
  • Illustrate the importance of positive methods for greeting parents and visitors.
  • Develop an understanding of the comfort zones of parents versus your own.

Project 3: Positivity Protocol
Project 4: Social Media Tools
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four : Soothing the Savage Beast

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the appropriate time to use either an email or phone call to start a conversation.
  • Outline various techniques that you can use to diffuse difficult situations.
  • Explore situations where the parent is right and describe ways to help resolve the issue.
  • Introduce the phrase "I am sorry that happened" and its ability to satisfy even the most aggressive parents.
  • Discover that being in touch with our feelings can help us to correct things before we put ourselves in the position of having to defend our actions.

Project 5: Admitting Your Mistakes
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: Dealing with Parents in Difficult Situations

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze difficult situations and provide the tools necessary for generating positive outcomes.
  • Idenitfy various approaches to delivering bad news to a parent.
  • Explore the basic concept of treating others fairly and with respect, and the result of "getting a good deal".
  • Integrate the methods of effective salesman when dealing with difficult classroom situations.
  • Introduce the "F" word - Fair, and develop an effective approach to working in fairness with students and parents.
  • Demonstrate that having a focus on the future can provide a point of view that student, parent and teacher can agree on.

Project 6: Giving a Good Deal
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Six : Increasing Parental Involvement

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine the importance of parental involvement in promoting the social, emotional and academic growth of children.
  • Identify various programs that can increase parental involvement within your school.
  • Recognize and learn to work through many of the obstacles to involving parents at school.
  • Illustrate the importance of communication in parental involvement.
  • Discuss ways parents can support school from home.

Project 7: Parent Involvement Plan
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

What Great Teachers Do Differently
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
Any teacher can fill a bookshelf with books about education. Any teacher can study lists of guidelines, standards, principles, and theories. The best teachers and the worst teachers can ace exams in their undergraduate and graduate classes. The difference between more effective teachers and their less effective colleagues is not what they know. It is what they do. This course is about what great teachers do that sets them apart. Clarifying what the best educators do, and then practicing it ourselves, can move us into their ranks.

Course Reviews

"I really enjoyed this course and learning about what makes a great teacher. It has made me reflect on changes I can make with my behavior management and ways to support students through positive relationships rather than just seeing my students as learners of math or receivers of scores on state assessments. The way this course focused on the relationship part of teaching and not just grades and demonstrating an understanding of the curriculum was important to me."
-- C.R. from Oregon


"As I reflect on the learning I accomplished during this class I feel affirmed in what I have done and continue to do as a teacher and coach. I focus on the positive and model that to students and teachers. I reflect daily in what I have done when teaching students and coaching teachers. As a leader in my building I work side by side with our principal to do what is best for students and teachers. My goal is to continue to do that and not become sidetracked or distracted by the emphasis put on standardized testing. We work hard at my school to do whatever it takes to meet all the needs of the students. In just the past two weeks we have had two families lose parents/grandparents who were the head of their households. We've had one family lose everything in a fire and another pair of siblings watch their mother be arrested and taken to jail. Not once did we say, "How will this affect them academically?" Instead, we said, "How can we support these families emotionally and physically in the coming days?" And for that I am extremely proud to be a staff member at my school which is full of great, effective teachers."
-- C.S. from Kansas


"I believe the framework provided in this course should be included in required training for all school staff (including service personnel, teachers, and administrators). This framework helps schools build solid learning environments by strengthening the overall foundation."
-- T.A. from West Virginia

Course Outline
What Great Teachers Do Differently

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics
Author: Todd Whitaker, Ph.D.

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Introduction/Course Description:

Any teacher can fill a bookshelf with books about education. Any teacher can study lists of guidelines, standards, principles, and theories. The best teachers and the worst teachers can ace exams in their undergraduate and graduate classes. The difference between more effective teachers and their less effective colleagues is not what they know. It is what they do. This course is about what great teachers do that sets them apart. Clarifying what the best educators do, and then practicing it ourselves, can move us into their ranks.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: Teacher as the Responsible Party

Learning Objectives:

  • Observe and analyze the struggle with your own self-awareness, ultimately redefining your own self perception.
  • Define the primary criterion when looking at program adoptions.
  • Understand what the variable is in terms of teacher expectations.
  • Define your high expectations for students and yourself.
  • Assess why successful teachers insist on focusing on their own behavior rather than the behavior of others.
  • Examine your own acceptance of responsibility as related to teacher efficacy.

Project 1: What Defines a Great Teacher?
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Keep it Positive

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess what you have the ability to influence.
  • Describe variables that separate effective classroom managers from ineffective classroom managers.
  • Define the five necessary components of effective praise and measure the power of praise.
  • Evaluate the purpose of teachers serving as filters at the schools in which they teach, and discriminate issues that matter.

Project 2: Teacher, Parent and Child
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Making Effective Change

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of ignoring minor errors.
  • Formulate a more powerful deterrent to misbehavior than a list of predetermined rules and consequences.
  • Clarify "purpose" in order to head in a more productive direction.

Project 3: The Challenge of Classroom Management
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four-What is Best for the Students

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore personal views related to student motivation, morale, classroom culture and climate. Identify behaviors that lead to success.
  • Describe the framework that sustains the work of all great educators.
  • Decide what personal core beliefs will drive your teaching.

Project 4: What Matters Most
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

Bullying Prevention - Keeping Schools Safe
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
In education, bullying is one of those terms that has been used so much recently that it tends to lose its meaning and impact. It is my desire that as a result of taking this course you will come away with a fresh perspective on the impact of bullying behaviors not only to the victims, but to the teachers, classroom and school dynamics, and to the bully. Unfortunately, if unchecked, the negative impacts on all involved can have devastating and life long consequences. This course has been designed to educate you as well as engage you in the learning process. Since this topic can trigger past bullying incidents that you may have experienced or witnessed, please take your time as you process this information.

Course Reviews

"The primary teaching technique that I took from this course which I will implement immediately is to not address the bully publicly. Also, when addressing the bully to not automatically be caught in my own frustrations about the situation but to treat that student with respect.

I learned that it is also important to be a little nosy in this case. Ask the classmates and "bystanders" what is going on. Don't just expect to get all of the details and truth from the victim and the bully. Lastly, I also learned that I need to give feedback after an intervention. Not just to the victim but also to the bully and the bystanders.

My goal after completing this course is to develop and implement a bully prevention plan that can be taught to the staff members at my school and then enforced."
-- P.H. from Maryland


"After taking this course, I will be able to better identify a bully in my classroom and around the school. I will also be able to look for victim type behaviors to identify them. I know how to evaluate the situation and how to formulate a plan. I can give advice to a victim on how to handle being bullied and hopefully put an end to the situation. I can help a bully to understand why they are treating others the way that they are and work toward figuring out other ways to healthily handle their emotions. I can also point colleges in the direction of this course as a great training tool to better understand effective intervention strategies."
-- D.D. from Virginia


"This course has been very insightful and informative. The very first module helps identify bullying. It helped me to recognize the myths surrounding this topic. Which at times, as adults, we fall into making those mistakes and categorize certain behaviors as part of adolescence. I also realized that I need to be observant of the types of bullying and what it looks like in the classroom, cafeteria, playground and hallways. Some students will externalize it (this will more likely be the bully) while others will internalize it (this will typically be the victim). Being able to pick up on these behaviors is very important for prevention purposes. The deficiencies in character were also very helpful. Being able to reinforce values and beliefs into my students and teach them skills so that in turn they can make better choices is one key factor for me taking this course."
-- P.V. from California

Course Outline
Bullying Prevention - Keeping Schools Safe

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics
Author: Jeff Foutty, M.A., Ed.S.

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Introduction/Course Description

Although information about bullying is becoming more readily available, research is still being done to fully understand the long term effects of the new level of violence and aggression that is being seen and experienced in our schools. As each state responds to this bullying phenomenon, many have passed legislation to create safe schools and thus curb bullying behaviors. As you are being held accountable for improving student performance, it makes sense to create environments that foster effective learning. This course will provide you with terms, research, and classroom interventions so that you can more effectively identify bullying behaviors, identify those at risk for victimization, and create safe and healthy environments for your students.

This course is not designed to help you play police officer; it's about creating and providing students with a climate of safety and respect. This course will increase your ability to provide that environment so that those students under your care can thrive and succeed!

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: What is Bullying?

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what bullying is.
  • Identify the common myths associated with Bullying.
  • Recognize the types of bullying and understand behavioral extremes.
  • Identify deficiencies in character that increase the likelihood that someone will bully.
  • Understand the theories regarding how one becomes a bully.

Project 1: Typical Childhood Play or Bullying?
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two- Who is the Victim?

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify who is the victim.
  • Identify the myths associated with victimization.
  • Identify warning signs that a child or adolescent is being bullied.
  • Understand the emotional impact of bullying.
  • Identify the different types of victims.

Project 2: Identifying Potential Victims
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three- Interventions

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the various conditions surrounding an intervention.
  • List helpful tips when choosing interventions.
  • Identify steps for creating bullying awareness in the classroom.
  • Describe intervention activities to address and change your student's awareness, attitudes, and beliefs about bullying.
  • Discover how to intervene with the victim and bully during an incident.
  • Provide the victim with practical interventions to decrease the likelihood of repeated bullying.
  • Provide the teacher with strategies and activities to decrease bullying incidents.
  • Discover how to effectively manage a bully immediately after an incident.
  • Examine strategies to decrease the likelihood of repeated bullying.

Project 3: Implementing a Bullying Intervention
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four- Effective School Wide Bullying Programs

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the reasons for creating safe and effective schools.
  • Identify what makes safe and effective schools.
  • Identify and review the laws behind safe schools.
  • Discover proven bullying prevention programs that you can advocate for your school.
  • Examine ways to get parents involved in the bullying prevention process.

Project 4: Create a Survey
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • tudent must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

ELL in the Classroom Refresher
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
This course will be presenting the best ways to educate ELL students and to ensure that they are learning content while mastering a new language and adapting to a new home country. Our challenge as teachers is to know how to reach these students, to teach them, and to know what to do when they cannot express themselves to us. As teachers we need to help them learn to succeed so they can be productive citizens. There is much we teachers can do to awaken the power within the students to help themselves and to feel empowered.

Course Reviews

"I think one of the biggest things I am going to take away from this course is to really think about implementing best practices for the ELL students in my class. Activating students' prior knowledge, modeling and teaching learning strategies explicitly, emphasizing comprehension over pronunciation are just a few techniques I am going to keep in mind when teaching my students. I am going to allow more choice when demonstrating understanding. Rather than focusing on paper-pencil assessments, I am going to utilize more project based assessments to demonstrate understanding of content. When I allowed students to create an exhibit to teach the class about a topic from Japan I was amazed at the projects that were created. They were rich with facts, but each group had a different way to show understanding."
-- K.B. from Massachusetts


"This course was very beneficial in understanding the specific needs of English language learners. Some of the major concepts that I took away from this course include (1) lowering the effective filter and keeping my classroom a safe place for language learners to try new language structures, (2) providing context for the lesson with activating prior knowledge and previewing vocabulary words, and (3) using graphic organizers and visuals to help assist the EL students. In addition, I also learned the differences between social language (BICS) and academic language (CALP). "
-- C.S. from Kansas


"I have added much to my tool belt as a teacher. I was surprised at many of the culture differences and am more aware of these differences. And differences still to be discovered. It is always about expanding the way we teach. As we know all learns learn at different rates and through different techniques. This class was not only provided great ideas and practice for teaching the ELL students, but to all students across the board. With the projected rate of 40% ELL students in the year 2030, this is not only useful knowledge, but essential knowledge."
-- D.P. from Colorado

Course Outline
ELL in the Classroom Refresher

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: Carolyn R. Smith, B.S., ESL Endorsement

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

This class will be presenting the best ways to educate ELL students and to ensure that they are learning content while mastering a new language and adapting to a new home country. Our challenge as teachers is to know how to reach these students, to teach them, and to know what to do when they cannot express themselves to us. As teachers we need to help them learn to succeed so they can be productive citizens. There is much teachers can do to awaken the power within the students to help themselves and to feel empowered.

It is important for teachers of ELL students to understand that second language learning by school-aged children is a longer, harder, more complex process than most of us have been led to believe. We need to have an accurate understanding of the process of second language learning and its relationship to acquiring other academic skills and knowledge. This class will be presenting MANY strategies that we can quickly and easily incorporate into our existing curriculum to help meet the needs of the ELL students.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: Language Acquisition

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the 5 stages of Language Acquisition and implement teaching strategies for each stage.
  • Make accommodations in the classroom which will have positive influences on the factors affecting Language Acquisition.
  • Distinguish between the BICS and CALP level of language acquisition

Project 1: Applying BICS and CALP
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Acculturation

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of what happens when a child is living between languages/cultural worlds.
  • Define the stages of acculturation.
  • Identify the importance of cross-cultural interactions among students by understanding the difference between assimilation and acculturation.
  • Learn techniques that can be used to encourage parental involvement

Project 2: Gestures and Culture
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Teaching Strategies

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of ELL students Learning through Language.
  • Explore the value of culture and its importance in helping students belong.
  • Create modifications and adaptations to existing curriculum to help make content more comprehensible.
  • Identify specific strategies for teaching reading and writing in the classroom.

Project 3: Audit a Lesson Plan
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

Differentiated Instruction Refresher
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
This course is designed to define Differentiated Instruction and demonstrate how educators can get excited about meeting the needs of the varied individuals in their classrooms. It is the goal to provide the classroom teacher with simple ways to start differentiating today, as well as provide an abundance of ideas and tools to better meet the needs of students no matter what subject matter or grade level taught. Differentiated Instruction can be adapted to meet different teaching styles. There is no single formula to follow; just basic guidelines which can be implemented as comfort levels increase. In this course, we will also tackle the tough issues of managing and assessing students in a differentiated classroom. It is my hope that as you work your way through this course that you realize and are encouraged by the fact that you most likely already do some differentiating already by using sound instructional strategies.

Course Reviews

"When I was looking at the list of options online for classes, I was excited to see this course being offered. It seems that differentiating instruction has always been a challenge throughout my teaching career, but has become more so of a challenge as special education requirements change, curriculum demands become increasingly rigorous, the amount of children with attention difficulties seems to increase year after year and budget cuts cause the phasing out of specialist teachers.
Thank you for offering such a complete, concise and user friendly class for educators. This is the kind of learning I like best; reflective, meaningful, easily applied and at my own pace. I am walking away with knowledge I have used and will continue to use and well as practical applications for my classroom, the dream of all teachers. Can't wait to share with my colleagues!"
-- M.A. from Illinois


"I have enjoyed taking the Differentiated Instruction Refresher course. This course has provided a good refresher of what differentiated instruction is, why it is important, and has had some good suggestions for ways to better differentiate in a classroom setting. While I have always known how important differentiation is, it is very easy to get caught up in teaching to the middle students in a classroom while the lower and higher students often get left out. After taking this course I feel that I have several new strategies to implement into my classroom to better differentiate learning for my students."
-- S.M. from Ohio


"The class really helped me understand how my anchors can fully extend student learning and engagement. Instead of treating these as an after thought to ensure that early finishers "stay busy" I can take a little more time to ensure that these valuable teaching tools meet and extend learning objectives.
Differentiation has been one of the most intimidating aspects of teaching such a wide range of ages, grades, and ability levels. The strategies I learned in this class will help me support myself to grow as a teacher as I practice the different techniques to see what works and what doesn't for my situation. It also helped me by identifying the differentiation strategies I already employ and by giving language to the nuances of this valuable pedagogy."
-- B.S. from California

Course Outline
Differentiated Instruction Refresher

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: Steve Heiniger, M.A.

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

This course is designed to define Differentiated Instruction and demonstrate how educators can get excited about meeting the needs of the varied individuals in their classrooms. It is the goal to provide the classroom teacher with simple ways to start differentiating today, as well as provide an abundance of ideas and tools to better meet the needs of students no matter what subject matter or grade level taught. Differentiated instruction can be adapted to meet different teaching styles. There is no single formula to follow; just basic guidelines which can be implemented as comfort levels increase. In this course, we will also tackle the tough issues of managing and assessing students in a differentiated classroom. It is my hope that as you work your way through this course that you realize and are encouraged by the fact that you most likely already do some differentiating already by using sound instructional strategies.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: What is Differentiated Instruction

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide a working definition for Differentiated Instruction.
  • Describe and offer examples of how to vary the content in order to differentiate instruction.
  • Identify how to vary the processes of how students learn in order to accommodate their individual learning styles, interests, and needs.
  • Explain how to offer a choice of products in order to accommodate the individual learning styles, interests, and needs of students.
  • Investigate the impact that student interest, readiness, and learning style has on instruction.

Project 1: Learning Style Surveys
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Where Do I Start?

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify "Micro" strategies that the classroom teacher can use to begin differentiating instruction.
  • Introduce "Macro" differentiation, and explore ways to allow students to set their own depth of study through the use of Layered Describe Extension Activities and how they differ from a traditional Layered Curriculum
  • Describe Extension Activities and how they differ from a traditional Layered Curriculum.
  • Explore additional "Macro" models of differentiated instruction that can be used for all grade levels and subject matters.

Project 2: Layered Curriculum
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Managing the Classroom Environment

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the natural benefits of differentiating and how the brain applies.
  • Examine the importance of readiness, interests and individual learning styles.
  • Introduce "anchoring activities" as a way to enhance the differentiated experience.
  • Offer practical suggestions for maintaining a productive atmosphere in which cooperation and collaboration are the goals.

Project 3: Anchoring Activities
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four-Grading and Assessment Tools

Learning Objectives:

  • Highlight sound educational assessment principles.
  • Identify and develop rubrics for classroom use. Understand what a portfolio is, and why they work.
  • Explore ways to construct a portfolio of skills for future use.
  • Identify additional tools to assess learning in a differentiated classroom.

Project 4: Create a Rubric
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

Assessment and Testing Refresher
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
Many teachers know what students should be learning. Many have met all of the state standards, the objectives, the scope and sequence outlined neatly in front of them. But sometimes, what is missing is a way to properly assess and evaluate students honestly and accurately. In this course, we will provide you with the assessment information and tools to use in the classroom so that the process works for you and your students.

Course Reviews

"While this course has already helped me make some progress in assessing students, it also showed me areas where I need to grow. I am excited about the concepts I have learned and the progress that I have already made. I look forward to continuing to grow in this area in order to improve my students' educational experience."
-- J.R. from Maryland


"The course has been an excellent revisit to various types of assessments and has given me an opportunity to reflect on the type of assessments that I currently use in my own courses."
-- D.P. from Colorado


"The major concepts of this course that I have learned begin with assessment and evaluation. How we assess and evaluate our class and students plays an important part of our job. We must be aware of the process and work to do it adequately and effective. We then looked at a mission and vision. We must be able to identify what we are doing and how we are going to get there. Our beliefs are important and must be an important part our class being able to learn. We have program and unit outcomes that will make up the class lessons and how we plan on getting from the start to the finish. What is authentic assessment? How is authentic assessment done? These were key issues used to measure and test student achievement. The last group of concepts we worked on were student portfolios and scoring guides. These are very useful in determining what the students learned and how the student performed in the classroom."
-- R.R. from Arkansas

Course Outline
Assessment and Testing Refresher

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: Zoe Edelen, MAT

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

Many teachers know what students should be learning. Many have met all of the state standards, the objectives, the scope and sequence outlined neatly in front of them. But sometimes, what is missing is a way to properly assess and evaluate students honestly and accurately. This is called Authentic Assessment. In this course, we will provide you with the assessment information and tools to use in the classroom so that the process works for you and your students.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One: Introduction to Assessment and Testing

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify key definitions of assessment and evaluation.
  • Understand the history of standardized testing in this country.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Program Outcomes, Unit Outcomes and Competencies

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and create a mission and vision for your class and understand their purpose.
  • Understand your own beliefs and use the results to create a better classroom environment.
  • Develop program and unit outcomes for your classes.

Project 1: Creating Your Own Class Roadmap
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Authentic Assessment and Helpful Evaluations

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and comprehend authentic assessment and its purpose.
  • Identify what authentic assessment looks like in the classroom through helpful evaluations.
  • Explore a variety of cognitive skill tests to validate student learning.
  • Develop a written evaluation of an instructor.

Project 2: Evaluation Checklist
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four-Portfolios and Scoring Guides

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what a portfolio is, and why they work.
  • Explore ways to construct a portfolio of skills for future use.
  • Understand scoring guides and why they are a useful tool for classroom use.
  • Identify tips for creating scoring guides.

Project 3: Creating a Scoring Guide
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

Educational Psychology Refresher
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
Throughout this course, we will be taking a look at the 'learning' process. We will start with the anatomy of the brain and examine how we process/make decisions, and how those decisions are reflected in our personality traits. We will also explore individual learning styles and identify instructional strategies aimed at each of those styles, types of intelligence's, and teamwork. These lessons will provide the foundation for developing your own classroom teaching strategies.

Course Reviews

"This is the most interesting course that I have taken for a very long time. I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher, and I spent some time working in the social work field, so the psychology field really interests me. For the most part, everything that I learned from the class was new information. I had taken psychology classes in college, but it had been a long time, and I am sure that I have forgotten a lot of what I had learned, so this was a great course for me to gain new knowledge and feel refreshed as a teacher.

This class was great; practically everything in the class was new information. I have bookmarked the reference section and added some of my own to use in my classroom. Also, every fall my principal has us develop a belief statement; mine is done. I really enjoyed learning about the multiple intelligences and how the brain works and personality develops. My assessment was a little surprising to me, but I think it is correct. I am happy to recommend this class to a fellow teacher."
-- D.D. from Indiana


"The importance of continued education for teachers is always something that comes to mind once I am in the thralls of coursework. As educators we get so caught up in all that is required of us, the new demands, the changes in curriculum, etc., etc. This educational psychology class is of particular value as it brings one back to the basics, reminds one of the essential needs, how and why we learn and react the way we do. It reminds one of the different learning styles, modes of delivery that are essential in the classroom and the importance of teamwork."
--T.K. from Washington


"The biggest takeaway from this course is the realization that education consists of helping people of endless personality differences acquire knowledge and skills that will be valuable for them. Going through these materials helped me realize the great challenge of being the educator I want to be. At the same I sometimes felt discouraged when I would try to think about how I can possibly design classes that will help learners of all types acquire knowledge when I am the teacher."
-- J.F. from Colorado

Course Outline
Educational Psychology Refresher

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: R. Andrew McColley, CEC, CCE, CWDP

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

Throughout this course, we will be taking a look at the 'learning' process. We will start with the anatomy of the brain and examine how we process/make decisions, and how those decisions are reflected in our personality traits. We will also explore individual learning styles and identify instructional strategies aimed at each of those styles, types of intelligence's, and teamwork. These lessons will provide the foundation for developing your own classroom teaching strategies.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One-Mental Development

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the different quadrants of the brain.
  • Compare and contrast Maslow's and Glasser's theories.
  • Articulate the differences in the way each person processes information.
  • Analyze Bloom's Taxonomy and the three learning domains.
  • Appreciate the value of an enriched environment.
  • Value the importance of a safe and needs fulfilling learning environment.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two-Developmental Factors

Learning Objectives:

  • Illustrate the importance of heredity and environment while critiquing the "nature vs. nurture" controversy.
  • Assign distinct attributes of an adolescent: physical changes, the importance of groups, conformity and self-identity and ways to resolve conflict.
  • Examine adulthood in respect to the time of life when one tries to bring everything together into a whole.
  • Differentiate the myths and realities of the similarities and dissimilarities between males and females.
  • Evaluate Piaget's four stages of child development, and differentiate between the three stages of moral development.

Project 1: Values and Beliefs
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three-Personality Types

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the differences between type A and type B personalities.
  • Appreciate the differences between introverts and extroverts.
  • Recognize the age-old personality types first formalized by Hippocrates.
  • Examine and value the different traits of each personality type.

Project 2: The Jung Typology Test
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four-Learning Styles and Communication

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the three different types of learners.
  • Develop materials, activities, and projects that address the various intelligences found in the classroom.
  • Characterize the eight ways of "being smart."
  • Understand how our communication styles affect others.
  • Explain all of the components that make up communication and the art involved in using it effectively.
  • Appreciate and value the importance of clear and concise expectations.

Project 3: Learning Style Survey
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five-Teamwork

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the social, collaborative, and task dimensions of teamwork.
  • Investigate the steps needed and the stages of development required that teams must prepare for and adapt to the challenges of collective work.
  • Review strategies that experiential learning offers in building social bonds, analyzing problems, and implementing decisions.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.

Teaching Methods Refresher
Course Fee: $80.00
Credits: 1
description
reviews
outline
This course will take you on a journey of reflection and hopefully, inspiration. Since you are a teacher in the classroom, the truly difficult work is already being done. We are teachers ourselves and know how many long hours go into preparing just one class. This course has been designed to help you reflect upon your own teaching methods and possibly offer some new ideas for you to add to your teaching palate. We hope to make this course informative as well as engaging. Your time is valuable and we want to offer practical tools for you to use in the classroom. I remember so many classes in graduate school that looked great on paper but offered no tools for me to use back in the classroom. This course is different. You will walk away with practical tools to help focus your lessons and improve student learning. All you need is an open mind, a writing journal, and a classroom in which to test out some new ideas.

Course Reviews

"In this course I learned many different ways to reach my students to maximize learning. I learned that lecturing doesn't have to be a boring, run of the mill thing, but something that should be looked upon as a challenge to keep the audience involved. I'm very glad I got the chance to watch myself teach, as there never seems to be enough time in the normal day to see these things. I'm also glad I took the time to watch my colleague teach; I picked up a bunch of good ideas from him, and think I'll be visiting his classroom more often to keep the ideas coming."
--T.H. from Minnesota


"This course was very useful in covering teaching strategies and resources that will be useful for my classroom. The three modules made me reflect on my own teaching style and gave me some useful tools for planning, preparing, carrying out, and assessing my lessons I have in my class. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this refresher course and it reminded me to make use of some of the great tools and strategies covered in this course which I believe will carry over to my student's education the classroom."
-- D.C. from Texas


"As I look back on the projects for this course, I was very much surprised, especially from the Jigsaw activity. The whole process of a cooperative learning environment helped my students acquire concrete information on the reading assignment and hence obtain key points that helped them score higher on their quiz. This was definitely an eye opener for me. This is definitely a concept I will be implementing in my classes.

I was able to learn something new from every module in this course. They were all key elements in facilitating me to become an effective and productive teacher. I will definitely be implementing all these strategies in my lesson plans, teaching methods and cooperative learning projects. This was a very useful and educational course. "
-- P.V. from California

Course Outline
Teaching Methods Refresher

Course Fee: $80
Standard Course Time: 16 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Review of Teaching Fundamentals
Author: Zoe Edelen, MAT

For an additional fee, Academic Credit at the Graduate Level is offered through our credit provider Humboldt State University (HSU). HSU is on a semester based system, and offers either elementary education (EED) or secondary education (SED) credit in the 700 series, which is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for those students with teaching credentials but not generally applicable to a master's degree program. For additional details, please refer to our Graduate Credit page.

Although this review of teaching fundamentals course is taught as stand alone class, we believe that the best teaching practices involve the seamless integration of all pedagogical practices. This and other courses serve as a review of the most essential teaching components, which, when integrated together, create the backdrop for the larger professional development for practicing teachers.

Introduction/Course Description:

This course has been designed to help you reflect upon your own teaching methods and possibly offer some new ideas for you to add to your teaching palate. We hope to make this course informative as well as engaging. Your time is valuable and we want to offer practical tools for you to use in the classroom. I remember so many classes in graduate school that looked great on paper but offered no tools for me to use back in the classroom. This course is different. You will walk away with practical tools to help focus your lessons and improve student learning. All you need is an open mind, a writing journal, and a classroom in which to test out some new ideas.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

This course is broken into major parts called modules. Each module contains content sections. Within each section, we cover one or more of the outlined learning objectives for the module. At the end of each module, there is a quiz. Some modules include a project. The breakdown for modules within this course is as follows:

Module One - Introduction to Effective Teaching Methods

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore various methods of effective teaching, as well as reflect upon personal teaching style.
  • Identify ways to begin the school year in an enriching way and discover how to bring these ideas into your classroom.
  • Plan lessons in an effective, organized manner, such as the proper development of course materials, while reflecting upon prior lessons in order to improve and strengthen them.

Project 1: Learning from Past Experiences
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two- Techniques and Lecture Strategies

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify ways to create an engaging discussion in the classroom setting.
  • Discover ways to encourage student participation by promoting critical thinking skills.
  • Identify ways to teach the large lecture course while allowing for student participation as well.

Project 2: Peer Observation
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three- What is Cooperative Learning?

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the criteria for effective cooperative learning activities.
  • Understand the step-by-step process of designing group work and the ability to become a facilitator in the transfer of knowledge.
  • Identify and describe the different roles students play in small, collaborative groups.
  • Explore different types of group work activities to use in the classroom.

Project 3: The Classroom Experience
Project 4: Learning Activities
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam:

Multiple choice questions taken from each module.

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?
Requirements for Course Credit

The following are the general course requirements for issuing academic credit:

  • Student must receive 80% or better on each module quiz as well as the final exam.
  • Student must complete all course projects as outlined within the course.
  • Student must complete a Final Learning Statement at the end of this course
Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.