Learning Experience

The Learning Lab experience is supported by both asynchronous and synchronous components. Each Learning Lab sequence includes a set of resources, an asynchronous discussion, and an interactive live session, all of which culminate in the development of a project or application to apply learning to local and specific contexts in support of the learning objectives.


Session 1 | Learning Lab Launch

July 20, 2021, 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

This is a live session to learn the details of the Learning Lab, the Canvas site, and expectations for the microcredential. There will also be time to get to know your fellow Lab partners and facilitator.

Session 2 | Sequence 1: Fostering connections to support learning online

July 22, 2021, 3:00–4:15 p.m. ET

To overcome barriers created by the distance in polysynchronous online classes, it’s essential to facilitate meaningful social and emotional connections. Helping people relate with one another in online classes, and helping students form emotional connections with class material and activities, can enhance engagement, which leads to better learning. In this sequence we will explore unique challenges of online teaching and learning, discuss the Modified Community of Inquiry framework as the theoretical foundation of our work, consider the value of fostering supportive social and emotional connections, and identify ways of doing so that are effective across disciplines and online formats.

Session 3 | Sequence 2: Inclusive excellence through Universal Design for Learning and Culturally Responsive Teaching

July 29, 2021, 3:00–4:15 p.m. ET

Welcoming and supporting all learners is necessary to facilitate engaging, inclusive, and equitable online courses. We will examine two neuroscience-based frameworks to guide our thinking as we design and teach effective online classes. Universal Design for Learning helps us create classes with options and accommodations baked in, so that no one has to reveal unique needs or preferences if they don’t want to. Culturally Responsive Teaching helps us create classes in which all people, no matter their cultural backgrounds and values, can engage, persist, and succeed. UDL and CRT enable us to create and teach classes with inclusive excellence.

Session 4 | Application and Closure

August 5, 2021, 3:00–4:15 p.m. ET

The Learning Lab will conclude with an application or project activity (described below) and a closing live session to review and process the learning from the lab.

Lab Application Project

To earn your microcredential, choose from one of the following application projects. Select an activity that is most meaningful for your professional learning, context, and goals. Share about your project in the application discussion forum, and engage with your colleagues on their projects.

  • Plan and Create: Design an activity for an online class that you are designing or teaching that applies at least two concepts from this lab. In the application discussion forum, share your activity as well as how it fosters social and/or emotional connections, or how it incorporates principles from UDL and/or CRT, on the
  • Research and Respond: Take a deeper dive on one topic from the lab. Investigate the scholarly literature or other media such as blog posts, book chapters, or articles presenting teaching tips. Discuss your learning, and how you plan to implement what you’ve learned in your design or facilitation practice, in our application forum.
  • Share Your Learning: Create a plan for a professional development session for your colleagues based on your experience in this lab. Include an overview, session agenda, and a description of the activities you’ll lead participants through. Ideally, include details about when and in what format you will offer this session. Discuss your plan in our forum.