Learn how to unlock the potential of group learning in your classroom by making learning visible.
Learning is social. Every day, children and adults learn from and with others, encountering new perspectives, strategies, and ways of thinking. Together, groups can achieve greater perspective and understanding than any individual can alone, but we need tools for sharing thinking and making learning visible to others.
This course will examine group learning through the Making Learning Visible framework, which began as a collaborative research project between Harvard’s Project Zero and educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and has since been adopted by hundreds of teachers to promote group learning. Participants will explore how to use documentation to “make visible” both what and how students learn. Through observation, evidence collection, interpretation, and information sharing, participants will learn how to produce a record that students and teachers can use to build self-awareness and guide instruction.
The online course, developed by Project Zero’s Mara Krechevsky, begins with a one-week orientation, during which you will explore the online platform and get to know fellow members of the learning community. Six two-week content sessions follow, with an average time commitment of about 3-4 hours per week. In each session you will:
- Learn new ideas
- Review and reflect on key ideas from the previous session
- Plan for trying and/or fully implementing course ideas in the classroom
- Work on a project or curriculum unit
- Reflect and share feedback with a coach and peers
Enrollment is by team, which promotes a deeper and richer learning experience and will help you sustain your use of core ideas after the course concludes. Team members will collaborate on most of the assignments, including the development of a project. Teams meet face-to-face every two weeks and so all team members will need a regular common meeting time throughout the term.
Although the sessions are structured and coach-facilitated, all the online interactions in the course are asynchronous. You and your team can decide when to work on the course materials as long as you submit the assignment(s) on or before the due dates.
This online course is not linked to a degree program. Academic credit is not available. You will be eligible for a digital certificate representing 45 professional development hours upon successful completion.
View the course outline for additional information on course sessions.
Online Course Schedule
Please review the course schedule to ensure that you and your team will be able to participate fully in the course, taking into account your local holidays and vacations. The average time commitment is about three to four hours per week.
Session 1 (Orientation week), February 24 – March 1
Session 2, March 2 – March 15
Session 3, March 16 – March 29
Session 4, March 30 – April 12
Session 5, April 13 – April 26
Session 6, April 27 – May 1
Session 7, May 2 – May 24
- Explore how teachers and students can create and sustain learning groups inside and outside the classroom
- Understand how documentation shapes, extends, and makes visible children’s and adults’ learning
- Learn how to foster a classroom culture where groups create and transmit culture, values, and democratic practices
- Learn a set of activities, protocols, and tools to support learning by making it visible
Who Should Participate
This course requires enrollment by teams of 3-6 people. Teams need to be able to meet locally, in person, at least once every two weeks.
- Teams can be comprised of district or school staff, including classroom teachers, instructional leaders, teacher leaders, and administrators
- We recommend team members have similar roles and work in the same school or district, if possible
- We also recommend that teams have at least one group of students with whom they can try out tools throughout the course