Designing for Online Learning: Elementary/Lower School

  • Dates

    open now; self-paced
  • Cost for members

  • Cost for non-members


This course is available for registration as a self-paced course. Register now and you will gain access to the course within 1-2 hours.

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 this course is

The course is self-paced and designed to be explored on your own. We have intentionally designed an introductory learning experience for teachers focused on the tangible and practical elements of online learning. At the end of the course, you will have the option to earn a digital credential in the form of a badge. Please follow the directions inside the course in order to earn your credential upon completion.

The course is about teaching and learning. Specifically, the course is about teacher design moves that ensure a smooth transition to online learning. For some of you, the course may be a new foray into online learning. For others, it may be an opportunity to learn new strategies. Either way, you will find something tangible and practical to use with students.

What this course is not

We recognize the many competing demands leaders and educators are managing. When a physical school closes, for whatever reason, there are policy needs, legal considerations, communication concerns, human resource complexities, and more that demand attention. The course does not cover these topics.

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