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Full Description


Every classroom is made up of individuals with diverse strengths, backgrounds, and approaches to learning. Understanding and responding to students' individual learning styles and needs can be a challenge for teachers. Participants in this course, Differentiating Instruction, will be introduced to learning theory related to learning styles and multiple intelligences, as well as web-based resources to assist teachers in both identifying students' learning styles and intelligences and engaging students in activities which best suit those styles and intelligences. Participants will become familiar with teaching strategies and tools targeted for each learning style and intelligence and develop a preliminary lesson plan using those strategies and tools.

Course Schedule


Start Date:  October 3, 2011

End Date: November 13, 2011

Weekly Breakdown:

  • Week One: Oct 3-Oct 9
  • Week Two: Oct 10-Oct 16
  • Week Three: Oct 17-Oct 23
  • Week Four: Oct 24-Oct 30
  • Week Five: Oct 31-Nov 6
  • Week Six: Nov 7-Nov 13


During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Understand the principles of addressing individual learning styles and multiple intelligences ;
  • Identify techniques to use in lesson design to address a variety of learning styles;
  • Identify and use a variety of assessment techniques to provide for students' learning styles and intelligences ; and
  • Develop a technology-rich, standards-based lesson plan which provides for students' learning styles and multiple intelligences, (or create a product iof their choosing as detailed below)


The ideal participant in this course will be:

  • a K-12 teacher
  • knowledgeable about how to perform simple computer tasks such as emailing and Internet browsing
  • willing to experiment with new online tools
  • excited to learn and share with their peers

Course Length

This course is divided into six one-week sessions. Each session includes readings, activities, and an online discussion among course participants. Participatns should expect to spend about 4 hours a week on the course.  A more detailed description of each week is provided in the course syllabus.


Week One: Introduction to Differentiating Instruction
Week Two: Identifying Learning Styles
Week Three: Identifying Multiple Intelligences
Week Four: Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom
Week Five: Assessment Strategies
Week Six: Share and Review

Recommended Guidelines for Participation


Discussion Participation

Participants are asked to post a minimum of two substantive postings in all of the content sessions, and encouraged to post more often.  As peer-to-peer learning is a goal of P2PU, participants are also expected to engage in thoughtful dialogue with their fellow course members, offering suggestions for improving their practice and building off their ideas.

Participants are also expected to:

  • maintain a positive, supportive, and professional tone
  • contribute in a timely manner (within the course's built-in flexibility)
  • refrain from excessive use of online shorthand and follow standard rules of grammar (while still enjoying a casual atmosphere!)


Course Activities Participants are expected to complete the course readings and activities as posted in each of the weekly assignments. Activities may include exploring websites related to course content, taking learning style inventories, watching online video clips, and working on a final project.

Final Project

As a final project for this course, participants are asked develop a lesson plan that utilizes differentiated instruction techniques and strategies. To aid in this task, a Final Project Template is available to help you organize your ideas.

If you have an alternative idea for a final project or product that may be more useful to you, help you plan for your future work, and demonstrate what you have learned, you are encouraged to pursue that.  Please let your facilitator know during week one if you plan to go in this direction.

Some possible alternatives might be:

  • A presentation (of what you have learned or to supplement a classroom lesson) using PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or Prezi.
  • A video tutorial for classroom use using Jing or another screencasting tool.
  • An interactive poster of a plan for your differentiated classroom using Glogster.


About This Course

This course was developed by EdTech Leaders Online (ETLO) at Education Development Center. EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building, training, and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

CREDIT: EdTech Leaders Online

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