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Education
Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 to Saturday, January 30, 2016
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Course description

English language development (a.k.a. English as a Second Language; English as a New Language, "Designated ELD," Focused Language Study) takes a variety of forms in present-day schools. In many schools, teachers teach ELD for a set amount of time (e.g., 30 minutes) a day. Other ELD/ESL teachers have multiple classes each day. In many cases, teachers emphasize grammar and vocabulary. However, the grammar and vocabulary route isn't the most effective for lasting and engaging language learning.. Language was created to get things done, to communicate—and this is how students best learn it. This is where this MOOC starts. It focuses on how to design and teach activities that are saturated with communication, and, where needed, strategically develop grammar and vocabulary to support communication.

Each session presents the focal area to work on for the following month (e.g., listening and watching, reading and viewing, writing/multimedia output, speaking, writing, and conversation), along with model activities and lessons that emphasize the focus, analyses of the models and non-models, lessons to be strengthened by participants, and a sample "expert" modifications of lessons. Whenever possible, we include samples of activities from two levels: beginning and intermediate. 

Course organization

Session 1 – Course Overview & Communication-Focused Listening & Watching (October 1 - October 21)

Session 2 – Communication-Focused Reading & Viewing (October 21 - November 11)

Session 3 – Communication-Focused Speaking (November 12 - December 9)

Session 4 – Communication-Focused Writing (December 10 - December 28)

Session 5 – Communication-Focused Conversations (December 29 - January 20)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does the course cost?

The course is offered free of charge.

2. Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?

You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.

3. How do I show my school that I completed this course?

Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available when the course begins.

4. Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students' oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

5. Are there any tests or assignments?

The course will be organized into five sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work. 

6. Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?

Some aspects of the course, such as readings and lecture videos, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the five course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.

7. How long should I plan on spending in the course and on coursework each week?

The course will be organized into five sessions, each spanning approximately three weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately three week time span.

Instructors

  • Jeff Zwiers, Senior Researcher in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Elsa Billings, Consultant at Understanding Language Initiative, Stanford Univeristy
  • Sara Rutherford-Quach, Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Steven Weiss, Project Manager, Stanford ELL Leadership Network

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Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 to Thursday, January 7, 2016
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Course description

This course is jointly provided by Belinda Louie from University of Washington, Tacoma, and Sara Rutherford-Quach and Jeff Zwiers from Stanford University. The purpose of the course is to support teachers to enhance students' language development by analyzing complex texts and using language from those texts, the major practices emphasized in the current college- and career-ready standards. The course will have 4 different sessions addressing the following: 1) what makes a text complex; 2) effective strategies for teaching students to analyze textual features; 3) effective strategies for teaching students to use and acquire textual language; and 4) designing lessons that emphasize students using textual language and analyzing textual features.

Throughout the course, participants will complete 4 assignments that require them to collect samples of student language as it relates to the analysis and discussion of complex texts. It also organizes a massive collaboration of educators who wish to support students, particularly English Language Learners, in developing their abilities to use complex language.

Syllabus

Orientation: Introduction to Course and Teams (September 28 – September 30, 2015)

Session 1: The Language of Complex Texts (October 1-Oct 21, 2015)

This first session provides a brief overview of the course and introduces the basics of text complexity, including the definition of complex text, the measures of text complexity according to the Common Core State Standards, especially the qualitative dimensions of text complexity. This session presents resources and tasks to prepare participants to analyze classroom discussions of a complex text.

Session 2: Teaching Students to Analyze Language Features (October 22- November 11, 2015)

In this second session, we focus on how to help students effectively analyze how language is used in complex texts. The specific types of text features that we focus on include: text structures for literary and informational texts, syntactic frames, and language devices.

Session 3: Fostering Ownership of Text Language (November 12- December 2, 2015)

In this third session, we focus on what teachers can do to support the use and acquisition (and ownership) of language that comes from texts that students are reading. Students will use text language as they explore layers of meaning in group discussion and individual writing.

Session 4: Designing a lesson focusing on text feature analysis and students' use of text language (December 3-December 24, 2015)

In this fourth session, we will focus on how to design lessons that support students' language development and content comprehension.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does the course cost?

The course is offered free of charge.

2. Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?

You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.

3. How do I show my school that I completed this course?

Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available when the course begins.

4. Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students' oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

5. Are there any tests or assignments?

The course will be organized into four sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work.

6. If I complete all eight weeks of the course, how long should I plan on spending in the course and on coursework each week?

We anticipate that the course will take approximately 30 hours of time to complete. The course will be organized into four sessions, each spanning approximately two weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately two week time span.

7. Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?

Some aspects of the course, such as readings and lecture videos, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the four course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.

Instructors

Belinda Louie, Professor, Education Program, University of Washington, Tacoma
Sara Rutherford-Quach, Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
Jeff Zwiers, Senior Researcher in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
Annie Kuo, Researcher and Instructor in the Education Program, University of Washington, Tacoma

Using Complex Text

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Date: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015
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Course topic: 

CREATING EFFECTIVE ONLINE AND BLENDED COURSES

Creating Effective Online and Blended Courses was produced by the Open Learning Initiative This link opens in a new tab at Stanford University with contributions from the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning This link opens in a new tab at Stanford University. These resources were partially funded by O.P.E.N., the Open Professionals Education Network This link opens in a new tab, which is sponsored by the Gates Foundation to support Department of Labor (DoL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grantees.

These resources, designed for a general audience of instructors at 2-and 4-year higher education institutions, will help such instructors develop online courses or incorporate online learning approaches in their on-campus classes. A separate, Stanford-focused version will be released by winter of 2016. In our initial release, six of the eight modules will be available. The remaining two (in grey) will be released as they are built.

  1. Introduction: How do I navigate these modules? What can I expect to get out of it? How are online courses different from on-campus courses?
  2. Course Organization: How can I structure my partially or fully online course?
  3. Learning Objectives: How do I formulate clear learning outcomes for my students?
  4. Assessment: How do I foster and measure student learning outcomes?
  5. Activities: What activities (such as guided discussions, reflection exercises, simulations, and games) can I use to support learning?
  6. Content Presentation: How can I most effectively use videos, HTML, and other media to present course content?
  7. Social Presence & Motivation: How do I build genuine community to keep students motivated?
  8. Iterative Design: How can I use platform data to improve my course over time?

SELF-PACED RESOURCES

These modules self-paced, meaning there are no deadlines, and the materials will be available indefinitely for you to work through on your own schedule. The eight modules can be completed in any order and should serve as a resource for you during the creation of your online course.

PREREQUISITES

These resources are designed for instructors at 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education who have experience teaching on campus. No prior online teaching experience is necessary.

STAFF

These resources were developed by the Open Learning Initiative at Stanford University with contributions by the Stanford Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. For more information about each of these groups, please visit their homepages.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to buy a textbook?

There is no required textbook. A resource that might be helpful is How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, by Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

Can I obtain a Statement of Accomplishment?

No. The modules are designed to allow participants the flexibility to skip through and view whatever is relevant for their own needs. Additionally, all problems are ungraded to promote a learning-focused experience. Given this focus, statements of accomplishment will not be provided.

Are there required assignments?

Activities and problems appear throughout each module, and you can elect to complete them. All of the problems are ungraded.

How many hours should I expect to spend on each module?

It varies because some of the modules have much more content than others. Also, you may elect to skip parts of some modules that are not relevant to you. On average, each module should take from 2 to 10 hours to complete in its entirety.

Will there be recommendations on specific platforms and tools that I can use in my course production?

No. Although we recognize the value of providing such information, the ever-changing landscape of educational technologies makes it a significant challenge to keep information current. These resources focus instead on pedagogy and design. Some of the examples provided do make some references to third-party tools, but Stanford does not endorse any such tools. We encourage you to seek advice about platform and tool options from technology experts at your local institution and by consulting online resources.

Online and Blended Course

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Worldview Stanford
Coming Soon.
This course is offered through WORLDVIEW Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates learning experiences for professionals to help them get smarter about the complex issues and dynamics shaping the future.

Fee and Application.

Course Description

This unique course combines hands-on training in the scenario planning methodology with a deep exploration of the environmental, economic and social uncertainties that will shape the future of what we eat, where our food comes from, and whether we will be able to count on its supply and safety in the coming decades.

Online: Get grounded in the latest research and perspectives on the future of the global food system. Learn about some of the biggest challenges—from climate change, population growth, changes in consumption, agricultural practices, and political disputes—as well as the opportunities for boosting resilience through scientific, technological and social advances. 

At Stanford: Develop Scenarios on the Future of Food to 2030. Tap Stanford experts on food to deepen your knowledge. Learn—by doing—the original scenario methodology pioneered by Royal Dutch Shell and Global Business Network, working directly with seasoned practitioners.

  • Identify driving forces and critical uncertainties
  • Develop a scenario framework, stories, and implications
  • Learn scenario planning tips and best practices

Featured Experts

Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including:

Chris Field

climate scientist and co-chairman of IPCC Working Group II

Meg Caldwell

environmental lawyer and Executive Director of the Center for Ocean Solutions

David Lobell

expert on food and agriculture, Deputy Director, Stanford Center of Food Security and the Environment

Buzz Thompson

natural resource attorney and co-director of the Stanford Woods Institute

 

The Future of Food Scenario Training

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Date: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 to Monday, June 1, 2015
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Course topic: 

The Course

Why do so many students struggle to read and comprehend scientific texts? Most science teachers have witnessed it at least once: a student reads from a textbook or article, proceeding calmly and clearly from sentence to sentence, only to reach the period at the end of the paragraph with little comprehension of what he or she has just read. Even children who learn to read quickly—who begin to devour books or blogs, novels or news stories—often seem to struggle with scientific prose. As a teacher, these struggles raise important questions: Which texts should my students read? What should I do if they struggle to understand? Am I teaching a text too quickly? Too slowly? Will more reading become an uphill battle? Will less reading become a slippery slope on which reading becomes even more difficult? This course is designed to address such concerns, giving teachers the tools to help students read for understanding in science.

With the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Language Arts, the CCSS for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects, and the continuing expansion of high-stakes testing in our nation’s schools, reading comprehension in science seems more important than ever – particularly as reading is key to accessing all knowledge and to employment. Students must be able to engage with and read non-fiction texts such as those found in science, trace the steps of key processes, and cite evidence to draw inferences, formulate hypotheses, and support or critique arguments. These skills have always lain at the very heart of the scientific enterprise, but they are often exceptionally challenging to share with our students at the primary and secondary levels. Why?

Simply put: the language of science is unique. It can be used to communicate rapidly enormous quantities of information with extraordinary specificity—and the same features which make it so useful also make it uniquely challenging to learn. You, as a science teacher, are uniquely qualified to share the language of science with your students—and this course is designed to provide you knowledge and strategies to help you do so. We will examine the selection of useful science texts; see specific strategies for supporting student comprehension before, during, and afterreading; learn how to recognize the unique challenges posed by science texts and how to help students overcome them; and acquire the skills to foster productive discussion around scientific ideas and texts. Along the way, there will be opportunities to apply your learning inside your classroom, and to pool ideas and resources with professional colleagues from across the state and around the country.

Instructors

Jonathan Osborne, Professor

Quentin Sedlacek

 


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Date: 
Monday, April 18, 2016
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Accepting Applications 

November 25, 2015 – April 11, 2016 

Course Starts Online: 

April 18, 2016 

Come to Stanford: 

May 31-June 3, 2016 

Fee and Application. 

This course is offered through Worldview Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates interdisciplinary learning experiences for professionals to prepare them for the strategic challenges ahead. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION 

What's driving big data? We increasingly live our social, economic, and intellectual lives in the digital realm, enabled by new tools and technologies. These activities generate massive data sets, which in turn refine the tools. How will this co-evolution of technology and data reshape society more broadly? 

Creating new knowledge and value: Big data changes what can be known about the world, transforming science, industries, and culture. It reveals solutions to social problems and allows products and services to be even more targeted. Where will big data create the greatest sources of new understanding and value? 

Shifting power, security, and privacy: The promise of big data is accompanied by perils—in terms of control, privacy, security, reputation, and social and economic disruption. How will we manage these tradeoffs individually and in business, government, and civil society? 

FEATURED EXPERTS 

Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including: 

Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy, technology, and policy scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society 

Sharad Goel, computational scientist studying politics, media, and social networks 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

Jennifer Granick, attorney and director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society 

Michal Kosinski, psychologist and computational scientist studying online and organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business 

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy 

John Mitchell, computer scientist, cybersecurity expert, and Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning

 

Big Data

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Date: 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 to Tuesday, May 19, 2015
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Course topic: 

A free course from Stanford University Graduate School of Education 
You have the opportunity to sign up for a record of completion for $200.00.

The Course

The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards emphasize improving the quality of student-to-student discourse as a major feature of instruction. The new standards specifically describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using evidence for claims. Yet this type of student-to-student interaction tends to be rare in classrooms. Common classroom teaching activities such as whole class discussions, jigsaws, and think-pair-shares can have the appearance of constructive interactions, but they often do not provide adequate opportunities for all students to engage in back-and-forth dialog. This course looks closely at student-to-student conversations and addresses ways to improve students' abilities to engage in the types of interactions described in the new standards.

This course consists of four main sessions with three weeks between each session in order to provide extra time for application and reflection. The learning in this course relies heavily on participant contributions and comments, especially in the team collaboration setting. Participants will be expected to complete both team and individual assignments for all sessions. The sessions and assignments are designed for participants who teach or have access to classrooms in which they can gather samples of students’ conversation during lessons. Finally, we include resources and tasks for instructional coaches and others who support teachers and build school-wide capacity.

Please note that this is a slightly modified version of a previous course offered in Spring and Fall of 2014. This course is targeted towards both elementary and secondary school teachers.

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

More Information

Prerequisites

In order to participate in the course, you will need to have access to a classroom in which you or the teacher you are observing are able to collect short samples of paired student talk on two different occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a FREE Statement of Accomplishment issued through NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit. There is no fee for this course and to receive a statement of accomplishment.

If you would like to receive a Record of Completion from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education with the approximate number of professional development hours to which the course is equivalent, you may pay a fee of $200 as well as complete the course requirements. Participants who choose this option with also receive a narrative evaluation from instructors on their course performance.

2. How much of a time commitment will this course require?

The course has 4 main sessions, each three weeks apart. Studying course materials (lecture videos and readings) takes about 1.5 hours per session, while assignments will take around 6-8 hours per session.

3. Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

Syllabus

Orientation: Introduction to Course and Teams (February 18 - 24)

Session 1: Constructive Conversations I (February 25 - March 17 )

In this session we dive into what high-quality talk between students can sound like in lessons that effectively teach the new standards. Specifically, we focus on the features of “constructive interactions,” during which students create, clarify, support, and negotiate ideas as they talk about concepts and build understandings in a discipline.

Session 2: Teaching the Constructive Conversation Skills (March 17 - April 7)

This session focuses on instruction to support rich interaction introduced in Module 1. We analyze video clips that show teaching that fosters interaction skills described in the new standards. We look at activities that help students build interactions skills for staying focused on objectives, building and negotiating ideas, and clarifying ideas.

Session 3: Constructive Conversations II (April 8 - 28)

In this session, we will look more in depth at how to foster student interactions that build the learning of lesson objectives, challenge thinking, and push students to use more complex language of the Common Core standards.

Session 4: Collaboration, Communication, and Community (April 29 - May 19)

This will be a summative session, in which we will pull together everything we’ve covered in the course to create a product that communicates to other teachers the value of having a discourse focus for implementing the new standards. You will also consider next steps for applying and collaborating in this work during the year.

Instructors

Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford Unversity 
Jeff Zwiers, Senior Researcher, Stanford University 
Sara Rutherford-Quach, Director of Academic Programs & Research for Understanding Language, Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

 


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Date: 
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 to Saturday, June 13, 2015
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Course topic: 

The Course

New standards (CCSS, ELD, and NGSS, etc.) emphasize developing students’ abilities to use language in academic settings for complex purposes. The new standards specifically describe the importance of understanding complex texts, critiquing the reasoning of others, and using evidence to support ideas orally and in writing. This focus on constructing and communicating complex ideas is a major shift for many schools who have focused on teaching discrete facts and vocabulary items for multiple choice tests.

This course facilitates the practical exploration and expertise-building of seven essential ALD (academic language development) practices that we have identified as being powerful for developing school language and literacy across grade levels and content areas and for supporting the implementation of new standards. The course focuses on three “high-impact” practices (Using complex texts, Fortifying complex output (written and oral), Fostering academic interactions), which are supported by four essential practices (Clarifying, Modeling, Guiding, and Designing instruction). This course looks closely at the development of “language for content and content for language.” It organizes a massive collaboration of educators who wish to support students, particularly English Language Learners, in developing their abilities to use complex language.

In order to develop complex language, educators need to be careful observers and analyzers of student language throughout a lesson and when looking at language evidence.This course asks participants to gather, analyze, and share examples of student language from their classrooms. The overall goal is for participating educators to better understand and develop the academic uses of language in school-based learning and apply what they learn in the future.

Coaching/PD Provider Component. In addition, each of the five sessions has a coaching component to help instructional coaches and professional development providers improve their coaching around these practices, with suggestions for working with teachers who are also taking the course. Coaches/PD Providers also have different but related assignments.

Prerequisites

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to instructinoal coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students’ oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

Syllabus

Session 1: Shifting and Framing our Practices I (Jan 14 - Feb 14)

This first session provides a brief overview of the course and addresses the role of classroom language in learning and teaching. In this session we also address why attending to student language is vital (but often neglected), particularly if our ultimate goal is to improve the overall quality of academic learning. The tasks for this session are specifically designed to prepare the participant to gather, analyze, and reflect on samples of student language.

Session 2: Using Complex Texts (High-Impact Practice 1) (Feb 15 - March 13)

In this second session participants learn how they can use the texts in their discipline to teach the language of the discipline. This means not only helping students to “access” the texts (unrdestand the content), but also to “own” the language and content well enough to use it in novel ways to read and communicate in the future.

Session 3: Fortifying Complex Output (High-Impact Practice 2)(March 14 - April 13)

This third session provides an in-depth look at how to fortify the quantity and quality of oral, written, and multimedia output. It emphasizes building students’ abilities to use and link multiple sentences to communicate complex ideas and describe disciplinary thinking.

Session 4: Fostering Academic Interactions (High-Impact Practice 3) (April 14 - May 14)

This fourth session shows how to cultivate constructive classroom conversations through instructional scaffolding and teacher modeling. In this session course participants also will have an opportunity to teach a conversation skill, observe, and then analyze a paired student conversation.

Session 5: Designing and Teaching ALD Lessons (May 15 - June 14)

This final session pulls together what we have learned in the course to design lessons that effectively and efficiently strengthen language for and through content learning. They will design a lesson that uses one or more of the ALD teaching practices from the previous sessions. They will also answer several reflection questions on the lesson and the course.

FAQ: 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a FREE statement of accomplishment issued through NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit. There is no fee for this course and to receive a statement of accomplishment.

2. How much of a time commitment will this course require?

The course has 5 main sessions, each one month apart. Studying course materials (lecture videos and readings) takes about 1-1.5 hours per session, while assignments will take around 6-7 hours per session. The estimated workload is around 35 hours in total.

3. Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

The Instructors

Susan O'Hara, UC Davis

Executive Director, REEd Center, UC Davis

Susan O’Hara, Ph.D., Executive Director of Resourcing Excellence in Education at UC Davis, has worked closely with teachers, researchers, and community leaders. An educator for 20 years, Susan began teaching mathematics and science to middle and high school students. She has a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Southern California and a PhD in science and technology education from the UC Davis School of Education. Before starting her current role, she was an assistant professor in teacher education at Sacramento State University and an associate professor at Stanford University.

Jeff Zwiers

Senior Researcher, Stanford University

Jeff Zwiers is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and director of professional development for the Understanding Language Initiative, a research and professional learning project focused on improving the education of academic English learners. He has consulted for national and international teacher development projects and has published articles and books on literacy, cognition, discourse, and academic language. His current research focuses on improving professional learning models and developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.

Robert Pritchard

Professor, Sacramento State University

Bob Pritchard is Professor of Educational Leadership at Sacramento State University. A former classroom teacher and reading specialist, he is a language and literacy specialist who works extensively with school districts and county offices of education on a wide range of professional development projects. He also worked internationally for nine years as an ESL teacher and teacher trainer. He has authored and edited numerous publications related to English learners, innovative uses of technology, and professional development for teachers.


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Date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 to Monday, November 24, 2014
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Course topic: 

The Course

The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and new English Language Proficiency Standards all include a focus on argumentation, requiring that students construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning. In this course, we will explore how to support all students but particularly English language learners, in engaging in this key, cross-disciplinary practice.

In this course teachers will use a range of practical tools for gathering and analyzing language samples that show how students currently construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning, as well as identifying next steps in students’ development. These tools can support formative assessment and instructional planning. Focal topics include: articulating claims; linking evidence and/or reasoning to claims; and evaluating evidence and/or reasoning. We will also explore similarities and differences in argumentation across content areas and grade levels. This course will enable teachers to collaborate with other educators and build professional relationships that result in an online community focused on improving students’ abilities to engage in argumentation across content areas. This course is offered jointly by Stanford University and Oregon State University.

Grade Levels: K-12

Content Areas: Across all content areas

Language Products of Learning: Writing and Oral Language

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does the course cost?

The course is offered free of charge.

2. Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?

You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.

3. How do I show my school that I completed this course?

Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available when the course begins.

4. Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students’ oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

5. Are there any tests or assignments?

The course will be organized into four sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work. The final assignment will be to collaborate with your team to create a lesson plan inspired by the insights you have gained about supporting students in constructing evidence-based claims. There are no tests in this course.

6. If I complete all eight weeks of the course, how long should I plan on spending in the course and on coursework each week?

We anticipate that the course will take approximately 30 hours of time to complete. The course will be organized into four sessions, each spanning approximately two weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately two week time span.

7. It sounds like the course has teams participating. How are teams set up?

You choose which team you would like to join. The course platform makes establishing and joining teams simple. You can set up a team with colleagues you already know. You can browse teams that others have set up, based on grade level, geographic area, and other features, and join a team that you find. Finally, you can establish a new team and make that team open for others, including people you don’t know, to join. Full details about the process of establishing teams will be available on the course website.

8. Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?

Some aspects of the course, such as readings and lecture videos, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the four course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.

The Instructors

Karen Thompson

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Oregon State University

Dr. Karen Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Oregon State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned an elementary bilingual teaching credential. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Thompson spent more than a decade working with English language learners in California public schools as a bilingual teacher, after-school program coordinator, and school reform consultant. Her research focuses on how policy, curriculum, and instruction interact to shape the experiences of English language learners in U.S. schools.

Sara Rutherford-Quach

Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

Sara Rutherford-Quach is a postdoctoral scholar with Stanford University. A former bilingual elementary teacher, Sara has more than 12 years of experience working with linguistically diverse students and their teachers and has conducted extensive research on instructional practices for English learners. Sara was previously awarded a National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for her work on the role of silence and speech in an elementary classroom serving language-minority students. Her areas of interest include classroom discourse and interaction analysis; language, culture, and instruction in multilingual and multicultural educational environments; institutional, policy and curricular change; and educational equity.

Kenji Hakuta

Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University

Kenji Hakuta is the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University. His research, publications, and professional activities have been focused on the education and development of bilingual children and youth for several decades. He works with various learning communities of district and state leaders engaged in reforming systems for ELLs. Most recently, he has been leading the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University in an effort to address the educational challenges and opportunities of the new standards for English Language Learners.

 


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Date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 to Tuesday, January 6, 2015
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Course topic: 

The Course

The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards emphasize improving the quality of student-to-student discourse as a major feature of instruction. The new standards specifically describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using evidence for claims. Yet this type of student-to-student interaction tends to be rare in classrooms. Common classroom teaching activities such as whole class discussions, jigsaws, and think-pair-shares can have the appearance of constructive interactions, but they often do not provide adequate opportunities for all students to engage in back-and-forth dialog. This short course looks closely at student-to-student conversations and addresses ways to improve students' abilities to engage in the types of interactions described in the new standards.

This course consists of four sessions with three weeks between each session in order to provide extra time for application and reflection. The learning in this course relies heavily on participant contributions and comments, especially in the team collaboration setting. The sessions and assignments are designed for participants who teach or have access to classrooms in which they can gather samples of students’ conversation during lessons. Finally, we include resources and tasks for instructional coaches and others who support teachers and build school-wide capacity.
 
Please note that this is a slightly modified version of a previous course offered in Spring, 2014. This course is targeted towards secondary school teachers.

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

Prerequisites

In order to participate in the course, you will need to have access to a classroom in which you or the teacher you are observing are able to collect short samples of paired student talk two different times.

FAQ: 

1. Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a FREE Statement of Accomplishment issued through NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit.

Although there is no fee for this course and to receive a statement of accomplishment, if you would like to receive a Record of Completion from Stanford University Graduate School of Education with the approximate number of professional development hours to which the course is equivalent, you may pay a modest fee as well as complete the course requirements. Participants who choose this option with also receive narrative evaluation from instructors on their course performance.

2. How much of the time commitment will this course be?

The course has 4 sessions, each of which is three weeks apart. Studying course materials (lecture videos and readings) takes about 1.5 hours per session; while assignments will take around 6-8 hours per session.

3. Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

Instructor(s): 
Kenji Hakuta
Jeff Zwiers
Sara Rutherford-Quach

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