Course Outline

Pre-course (before July 13, 2015)

Complete the registration survey to provide information about yourself, your school or district, and your goals for participating in the Learning Differences MOOC-Ed.

Unit 1: Thinking Differently about Student Learning (July 13 - July 19)

Participants will further their thinking about Learning Differences and the "myth of average" among their students. Educators will begin to develop and apply learning differences teaching competencies which will support student learning. The essential questions for this unit are:

  • What are learning differences?
  • How does thinking about students’ learning differences affect my teaching practice?
  • What are the benefits of focusing on students’ strengths rather than weaknesses? What are the challenges of this approach?

Unit 2: Working Memory (July 20 - July 26).

This unit focuses on the impact of working memory on student learning and behavior in classrooms. Participants will learn and apply strategies to better support students' working memories. The essential questions are:

  • What is Working Memory and how does it affect student learning?
  • How can teachers support students who struggle with working memory or leverage students with strong working memory?
  • Which strategies or solutions related to working memory best meet your students' needs?

Unit 3: Executive Function (July 27 - August 2)

This unit establishes a basic understanding of executive functioning skills by explaining what they are and how they impact student learning. The essential questions are:

  • What are executive functioning skills and how do they affect student learning?
  • How can teachers develop executive functioning skills in classrooms?

Unit 4: Student Motivation (August 3 - August 9)

This unit focuses on the impact of students' motivation on learning and behaviour in classrooms. Participants will learn and apply strategies to better foster student motivation. The essential questions are:

  • What are intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how do they affect student learning?
  • How can teachers build intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in classrooms?
  • Which strategies or solutions related to motivation best meet your students' needs?

Unit 5: Strategies for Supporting the Whole Student (August 10 - August 16)

The purpose of this unit is to get you thinking about the complexities and relatedness of learning differences. Then, we hope to begin honing your skills to approach a student and identify how to leverage that students' learning profile to best support him or her. We have referenced this as being a "learning scientist" throughout the course.

  • How do the constructs of learning work together to build a complex, individual learner profile in each of my students?
  • How can I collect student data to select and implement strategies to support individual student needs?

Unit 6: Internalizing a Growth Mindset (August 17 - August 23)

In prior units, we built knowledge of and strategies for addressing various constructs of learning differences. In this unit, we bring these elements together to apply in your classroom and outline opportunities for future learning. The essential questions are:

  • What progress have you made in your classroom with regard to learning differences?
  • What strategies or next steps would you take to continue down this path?

Interested in the Learning Differences Coaching Component?

During the course, instructional coaches, media coordinators, and teacher leaders will have the opportunity to participate in an additional section in Units 2, 4, and 6 that is focused on strategies for coaching and supporting other teachers in their work with learning differences. The outline for the coaching portion of the course is in the next tab.

In this extended portion of the Learning Differences MOOC-Ed, you or your site-based or organizational team will focus on the capacities of most value when becoming a successful coach, specifically as it pertains to helping your colleagues/other teachers serve all the various learners in their classroom.

You or your team will be working on a cumulative deliverable - a Learning Differences Coaching Action Plan. This plan serves as a guiding template as you or your team organize and consolidate your coaching practice and align that with the various activities, strategies and ideas gleaned from the first 6-weeks of the Learning Differences MOOC-Ed. In weeks 2, 4, and 6, you will be provided directions for completing specific elements of the template. You are always encouraged to tailor your action plan your to your team’s own context and needs. You will also engage in a peer-review experience to further refine your action plan. Finally, you are invited to reflect and share your ahas gleaned over the MOOC-Ed experience.

Learning Goals

  • Understand effective ways to coach teachers that help to better instill important lessoned learned from the Learning Differences MOOC-Ed;
  • Develop learning differences teaching competencies that are related to coaching through ongoing reflection in your own context and the various teachers and students you serve.


Part 1

Coaching | Stewarding the Future of Learning & Teaching
July 20 - August 2

Part 2

Lesson Learned | What is of Most Value as Learning Differences Coaches?
August 3 - August 16

Part 3

Finalize Action Plan, Provide Peer Feedback….Then Reflect On Your MOOC-Ed Journey
August 17 - August 30

Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 10:04 AM