Educator Courses

Designing for Online Learning: Elementary/Lower School

  • Dates

    September 14 - 18. 2020
  • Cost for members

  • Cost for non-members


    Stay tuned for additional dates of this course.

    Course Description

    Designing for Online Learning: Elementary/Lower School is a self-paced, asynchronous one-week course for educators interested in deepening their understanding of designing online learning experiences for primary grade levels.

    We have modified one of GOA’s most popular educator courses, Designing for Online Learning, which since March 2020 has served 35,000 educators across 100+ countries. This course follows the framework of original Designing for Online Learning with a focus on strategies, examples, resources, and tools for teachers of younger students.

    The course is made by and for elementary/lower school educators.

    For virtual learning opportunities to be successful, teachers and school leaders must be aware of the pedagogy and tools that enable student learning. This course covers the fundamentals of designing high-quality online learning experiences for lower school/elementary school students. Acknowledging the importance of active play and exploration, as well as the discrete steps needed when introducing new tech tools, we’ll explore the possibilities and limitations of online learning for younger students, ways in which to balance online and off-line learning, developmentally appropriate strategies and scaffolds for younger students, and designing for equity to support younger students and their caretakers/families as they navigate distance learning. Participants will learn strategies and tools that can be implemented immediately as well as gain access to a global network of lower school and elementary educators.

    Essential questions tackled in the course include the following:

    • What does great learning look like in online spaces for lower school/elementary students?
    • How might teachers design for community, connection, and student support in online spaces?
    • How might teachers design learning experiences that are easy to navigate, intuitive, and interactive for both students and caretakers?
    • How might students demonstrate evidence of their learning in online spaces?

    What to expect

    Click on our short video below to hear us address some of the frequently asked questions and learn what to expect if you are taking a course with us this summer.


    What to Expect When Taking a GOA Professional Learning Course: Summer 2020

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How much time should I expect to spend in the course?

    We anticipate 45-60 minutes each day of the course, Monday through Friday, or about 3-5 hours. The course is self-paced and asynchronous. We provide a pacing guide with a suggested checklist of activities for each day. We will keep the course open after the course ends so that educators can continue to use the resources.

    When does this course start and when does it end?

    The course opens Monday, September 14 through Friday, September 18 . The course will remain open until October 2 for participants to continue to peruse resources.

    When should I register?

    Now. Registration will close once we are full. We expect high demand and will offer the course again if necessary. Please do not delay in registering. If you register and then CANNOT attend, let us know, and we can then offer your place to another educator.

    What technological requirements does this course have?

    This course will take place in GOA’s Canvas instance. It’s very likely your existing set-up has all of the specifications you need to participate. For a precise list see here. Also, please note as of March 2020, Canvas is not supported in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the region of Crimea.

    What additional resources for school closure and online learning are available?

    Please see GOA's COVID-19 Resource page for the most up to date resources.

    Have additional questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more specifically about how our courses work and what to expect. You may also email and we will try to respond to you as quickly as we are able.

    To learn more, see our publication: Five Design Elements for Rethinking School: A Toolkit for Educators.

    To sign up for additional professional learning opportunities, check out all of our educator courses.

    Follow along with us as we share insights, ideas, and updates about this course on Twitter @GOALearning and using #GOALearning.

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    Let's talk.

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