Student populations in schools today are very diverse. Students differ in their readiness to learn, the ways in which they prefer to learn, and the areas of interest that motivate their learning. Differentiated instruction is based on the belief that classrooms where students are active learners, active inquirers, and active problem solvers are more effective than those where students passively receive a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum.
This course introduces teachers to instructional strategies and methodologies that will enable them to create powerful learning experiences to meet the wide range of different student needs in their classrooms.
School improvement plans in virtually every school, regardless of grade level configuration, underscore the importance of helping all students achieve academic success and meet educational standards. It is clear from the research that the intentional use of differentiated instruction strategies is highly effective in meeting diverse learner needs and positively impacting student achievement.
This course focuses on best practices in differentiation and provides teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement these methods in their own classrooms. Through learning activities, and the practice and application of skills, participants gain new levels of expertise which will enable them to create instructional experiences in an engaging classroom atmosphere to help all of their students reach their full potential.
Understand the principles of differentiated instruction
Learn the components of learning style and their applications in the classroom
Understand how enduring understanding, student engagement, student outcomes, and teacher behaviors that cause learning to happen are critical elements of differentiated instruction
Practice designing multiple paths to reach a specific learning objective
Create lessons that differentiate content, process, and product
Learn how to differentiate instruction to meet diverse student learning styles, readiness levels, and interests
Understand how brain-compatible learning corresponds with differentiated instruction methodologies
Design learning activities that increase student engagement by enhancing semantic, episodic, procedural, automatic, and emotional memories
Plan lessons that differentiate instruction across four continuums
Practice using tiered instruction and anchor activities with flexible groups
Design and use essential questions and effective questioning strategies
Understand how scaffolding and coaching can assist struggling learners
Explore practical ideas for increasing active student participation and using graphic organizers in a whole-class setting
Understand how to use assessment as an integral part of instruction in a differentiated classroom
Design performance tasks to use as assessment tools
Plan and teach lessons based upon enduring understanding that differentiate content, process, and product to meet individual student needs
This online course is experiential and interactive. Participants will engage in a variety of activities to learn, practice, and apply the skills outlined in the course. This will include reflective journal exercises, short answers that are reviewed by a moderator, quizzes, the development of written lessons using differentiated strategies, classroom implementation of these strategies, and analysis of both the lesson and the students’ response to the lesson. A final exam is also a part of the course. Participation in all of these areas is necessary for students to successfully complete the course with a passing grade.
Upon completion of the course, students can decide if they would like to receive credit and from which university they would like to receive credit. Please see University Affiliations under the Information Center for the cost per credit.
1b. Elements of a Differentiated Classroom
2a. Understanding Diverse Student Characteristics
2b. Learning Styles – The Many Elements
2c. Understanding Multiple Intelligences
3a. What’s Your Style?
3b. Learning Styles Favored in a “Typical” Classroom
3c. How Culture Relates to Learning Style
4a. The Many Shapes of Differentiation
4b. Teaching For Enduring Knowledge
4c. Begin With the End In Mind
5a. Taking Different Paths to Get to the Same Place
5b. Differentiating Content, Process, and Product
5c. Responding to Different Levels of Readiness
5d. Responding to Different Interests
5e. Responding to Different Learning Styles
6a. Effective Strategies for Differentiation – An Overview
6b. Effective Strategies for Differentiation – Underlying Principles
6c. Effective Strategies for Differentiation – Specific Approaches
7a. Understanding Brain – Compatible Learning
7b. Why We Remember – And Why We Forget
7c. How Vivid Lessons Enhance Memory
8a. Differentiating To Meet Readiness Needs
8b. Planning Tiered Instruction
8c. Examples of Tiered Instruction
8d. Using Anchor Activities With Flexible Groups
9a. Differentiating With Your Whole Class
9b. Increasing Active Student Participation
9c. Using Graphic Organizers
9d. Asking Powerful Questions
10a. Assessment in the Differentiated Classroom
10b. Creating Performance Assessments
10c. Scaffolding Performance Tasks
10d. Putting It All Into Action In Your Own Classroom