Engagement: Connecting Students to Content

Course Available
3 Units
Online Self-Paced

Course Description

Create Learning that Promotes "Ownership" of Content in Students

How often do you hear students say, “When will I use this?” or “Why does this matter?” This course explores an instructional approach meant to engage students in a deep understanding of concepts. Supported by the framework, Teaching for a Robust Understanding (TRU), the course will examine the attributes that create opportunities for an environment where all students are actively engaged in becoming knowledgeable, flexible, and resourceful disciplinary learners.

Course Details

Number of Units: 3.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This course provides continuing education for K-12 classroom teachers who want to deepen their knowledge and understanding of how to connect students with content with well-developed curriculum design.  Both new and experienced teachers wanting to improve their craft will benefit from this course.

Course Materials:  Depending on the grade level you teach or your area of interest, choose your required text below to purchase:

Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding: Harnessing Natural Curiosity for Learning That Transfers, Elementary, by Julie Stern, Nathalie Lauriault, and Krista Ferraro, available at Amazon.com or your local bookstore.


Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding: Designing Lessons and Assessments for Deep Learning, Secondary, by Julie Stern, Krista Ferraro, and Juliet Mohnkern, available at Amazon.com or your local bookstore.

Technical Requirements

Course Options

Course Date Units Price
EDU-X793Q – 013 Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled 3 $504

Engagement: Connecting Students to Content

Start now, you have 180 days to complete this course once enrolled

Educator Programs – 25% Off Teachers Appreciation Sale

Valid May 1, 2024 – May 31, 2024

Some restrictions apply.  Offer valid only during sale dates. Not all courses apply.
**Only one discount can be applied per course.**

Online Self-Paced
Ronalee Johnson

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the course Welcome Letter, which includes directions on how to access the Online Orientation and your online course.

What You Will Learn

  • Identify research-based components of effective learning environments in order to create engaging classroom cultures that focus on student learning
  • Design an effective learning environment that addresses content, cognitive demand, equity, student agency, and thinking
  • Develop a curricular vision that derives from an understanding of the synergy between concepts, facts, and principles so that students are intellectually engaged
  • Determine the effective learning strategies that enable students to become engaged in a “productive struggle” in meaning-making with conceptual content


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Why USD?

The Professional and Continuing Education program nurtures key partnerships on the local, national, and international level. The goal is to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers and help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.

Online Self-Paced

Our online self-paced courses are similar to online fixed-date courses, but are designed to give you a six-month period from time of enrollment to complete all assignments. Your instructor will provide feedback via written responses on your assignments and exams. Grades are based on completed projects, assignments and exams.

How is the self-paced course structured? Like fixed-date courses, online self-paced courses are asynchronous meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime; the difference being there are no assigned due dates in self-paced courses. The content is divided into learning modules. Each module will cover one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, websites, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments (which may include: written assignments, quizzes, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.

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