Foundations of Learner Agency

The Foundations of Learner Agency module is a self-paced online learning opportunity that centers around defining and understanding learner agency, and supports you in creating a learning environment that fosters and empowers each and every one of your learners.

Our team at the Friday Institute, with feedback and support from researchers and practitioners from across the world, developed this module with the goal of helping you build your own foundational understanding of learner agency, how it plays out in the classroom, the conditions that foster learner agency for each and every student, and why learner agency is of particular importance for our students of color and historically marginalized students.

Throughout the learning experience, you will be engaging with peers from across the country and around the world in our forums and interactive activities. You will also be reflecting and applying independently what you explore through a personalized plan that will help you structure and organize your thoughts throughout this experience along with your application to your local learning environment.

Join us today!

Course Objectives

  1. Create and refine your own definition of Learner Agency
  2. Identify and recognize the mindsets, skills, and contexts that support Learner Agency
  3. Develop an understanding of strategies and resources to better understand and support learner agency for each and every student
  4. Recognize the importance of learner agency to students of color and historically marginalized students
  5. Identify meaningful changes to your educational environment to support the development and expression of learning agency for each of your students

Learn More

There are four sections in our Foundations of Learner Agency Module that will guide your learning.

  • Section 1: Defining Learner Agency
  • Section 2: Establishing an Environment to Support Learner Agency
  • Section 3: Critically Examining Identity, Learner Agency, and Equity
  • Section 4: Seeing Learner Agency in Action

Participants will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion for ten hours of professional development during the Foundations of Learner Agency module.

In order to earn a certificate, participants must:

  • As part of the registration process, complete an initial survey about your background, organization, and goals for engaging in this online learning experience.
  • Explore and apply resources and strategies to your context and students.
  • Contribute to the forums by asking questions, responding to others' questions, and sharing ideas; agreeing with or identifying comments as insightful; suggesting resources that will be useful to others; and sharing your expertise in other ways.
  • Submit a personal Agency Journal that is available in the module.
  • Complete a final survey at the end of the course and provide suggestions for improving it in the future.

You can submit the certificate to your local agency with a request for CEUs. Granting of CEUs will be subject to the policies and procedures of your state and local agency.

Alex Dreier

Alex Dreier

Alex Dreier is the Instructional Design Lead at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. He has over 15 years of experience in designing learning environments that meet the needs of all students, specifically initiatives around social and emotional learning, learning differences, competency-based learning for educators, digital learning, and more. He is currently the PI on a multi-year, million dollar Oak Foundation grant that supports educators in creating learning environments to support all of their students. He is also the Co-PI on an NSF-Funded project to create a personalized professional learning portal for teaching statistics. Prior to this, Alex spent five years managing the Friday Institute's MOOCs-for-Educators initiative, which continues to meet the needs of a global audience of tens of thousands of educators using research-based practices for professional learning. Before coming to the Institute, he managed the online professional learning courses for EdTech Leaders Online at Education Development Center (EDC), helping build the capacity of organizations to build and support their own online learning programs. Alex holds a B.A. from Tulane University and an Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard University.

Dr. Callie Edwards

Dr. Callie Edwards

Dr. Callie Womble Edwards is an Educational Researcher with a multidisciplinary background in public health, workforce development, learning outcomes assessment, and program evaluation. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and a M.P.H. in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2018, Dr. Edwards has served as a Research Associate at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, where she evaluates educational initiatives using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She currently leads eight Friday Institute research and evaluation projects, including one multi-district evaluation and three multi-school evaluations. As Project Lead, she is responsible for planning, management, and day-to-day operations, and she is also the main point of contact for the internal NCSU team, external partners, and clients. A major aspect of Dr. Edwards’ work is developing and maintaining effective research-practice partnerships (RPPs) with schools and districts. She also directs the Friday Institute’s inaugural Educational Research and Evaluation Internship Program for undergraduate students. Recently, Dr. Edwards was nominated for the 2020 NC State University Award for Excellence, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon non-faculty employees. Prior to joining the Friday Institute, she served as a Research Specialist at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and a Research Assistant in the Office of Assessment at NCSU.

Dr. Patricia Hilliard

Dr. Patricia Hilliard

Dr. Patricia Hilliard serves as a Research Scholar at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University. She works with school districts to design, develop and deliver professional learning for teachers, administrators, and instructional support staff. Dr. Hilliard led the NC Conference for Educational Equity which brought together more than 2,000 educators. The conference challenged them to rethink their current practices, disrupt our broken system, and create equitable practices and policies to better support each and every student. She earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Urban Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has been a high school teacher, university instructor, lead instructor and instructional coach. Additionally, Patricia has presented at numerous conferences and written several blogs for Edutopia and Digital Learning Collaborative. Connect with her on Twitter @HilliardPhD.

Brittany Miller

Brittany Miller, M.Ed.

Brittany Miller is a Research Associate for the Professional Learning and Leading Collaboration team at The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation where she supports schools and districts across North Carolina who are integrating Social Emotional Learning, Personalized Learning and Digital Learning programs through customized professional development and online professional learning opportunities.

Blake Wiggs

Blake Wiggs

Blake Wiggs is a research scholar with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation where he partners with districts to design adult learning experiences for teachers, coaches and administrators. His responsive approach to facilitation is informed by his experience with community organizing and anti-racist affinity work. Wiggs is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education program and is currently pursuing his Ed.D. at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His research is largely linguistic, focusing on the relationship between language, ideology and power. For his dissertation, he is conducting a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of the 287-page WestEd Report, Sound Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and co-authored the book, Rethinking Classroom Design: Create Student Centered Learning Spaces for 6th-12th Grade, with co-author Dr. Todd Finley.

Available On Demand
Duration 4 sections
Cost Free
Primary Audience K-12 Teachers
Certificate Available Yes
Certificate Hours 10
Developers Alex Dreier
Dr. Callie Edwards
Dr. Patricia Hilliard
Brittany Miller
Blake Wiggs
Facilitators Alex Dreier
Dr. Callie Edwards
Dr. Patricia Hilliard
Brittany Miller
Blake Wiggs