Complex Concepts Come to Life in Continuing Education Courses
Ashford University’s College of Education has a new and unique partnership with Teaching Channel, a well-known website designed for teachers and administrators that is filled with rich videos of educational practices. Through this collaboration, four continuing education courses have been developed that allow teachers to complete a self-paced, instructor-led, online 3-credit course that they can use toward recertification. Most teachers will complete these courses in six weeks.
These continuing education courses were created based on the topic interests from the K-12 teaching community including: differentiation, social and emotional learning, assessment, and positive classroom culture. The courses are designed to be practical, informative, and strategy-rich. Each of the online courses utilizes the engaging videos from Teaching Channel which help the complex concepts come to life. Additionally, online resources and journal articles cement the ideas and provide research context.
The four continuing education courses include:
- Differentiation: Designing for Student Difference (EDU 500)
The needs of the classroom are diverse and complex. Educators want to respond to their students’ needs with a customized approach. This response can be reflective of students’ learning styles, interests, or abilities. This course explores a variety of evidence-based strategies and tools to meet the needs of varied learners. The course is focused on direct application to the practicing teacher in the classroom, along with a purposeful pause for self-reflection.
- Social & Emotional Learning: Integrating its Elements with Ease (EDU 501)
Understanding emotions, relationships, and navigating interpersonal and intrapersonal skills is critical for teachers in the classroom. Teachers can set the tone and climate in the classroom through their words, actions, and language, including their mindset. This course creates a forum for teachers to explore their beliefs about their students and how these beliefs translate to creating a classroom culture of success for all learners. Self-reflection is a key component to this course along with practical strategies to infuse social and emotional learning techniques into everyday practices of the classroom, while enhancing students’ motivation.
- Standards and Assessment: Gauging Student Growth (EDU 502)
The role of assessments in education are multi-faceted and complex. Teachers want to assess their students’ understanding and application of the concepts that are being taught in the classroom in a manner that provides useful insight to then tweak, hone, and refine that instruction and learning. Designing meaningful and effective assessments that are aligned with standards for learning is crucial for today’s classroom. This course supports teachers as they consider how to re-think and enhance their assessments to inform instruction and cultivate student understanding and academic growth.
- Classroom Culture: Managing the Classroom Environment (EDU 503)
A positive and enriching classroom culture is the dream of every teacher and student. The challenge is how to create and nurture that culture or restart that classroom culture if it is not filled with kind, empathetic, and respectful experiences. This course supports teachers with creative and modern strategies, responding to the need for proactive approaches and evidence-based practices. This course is focused on applying new and reinforced learning into the classroom.
With demand for increased wages and benefits within the teaching community, it remains important for teachers to continually seek professional development and stay current on the latest trends in education. These self-paced courses feature Teaching Channel videos and provide numerous resources to quickly adopt for use in your classroom to get your students involved in learning.
Written by Kelly Olson Stewart, EdD, an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Ashford University. She is also a member of the Faculty Support and Development Committee.