2013-2014 Catalog


EDCS - Grad Educ Continuing Studies

EDCS-501 Instructional Design for Online Educators

This course focuses on the development of skills and knowledge related to the design of online instruction. Participants will develop an instructional design plan, beginning with a needs analysis and progressing through the design cycle to create an online course that meets student requirements for successful online learning. (A Performance Learning Systems online course)


EDCS-502 Facilitating Online Learning Communities

This course focuses on the principles and best z any learning platform. Participants will practice specific online communication skills with multiple tools, manage assessments and feedback appropriately, analyze and solve problems, and create a plan of action for teaching their next online course. This course includes strategies to engage diverse learners, support various learning styles, and handle conflict constructively in the online learning environment. Through class activities, practice course simulations, collaboration with colleagues, and dedicated coaching from the course facilitator, participants will gain the necessary tools to nurture a reflective online learning community. (A Performance Learning Systems online course)


EDCS-503 Cultural Competence: A Transformative Journey

This course equips experienced and beginning educators with the knowledge, awareness, and skills they need to work in today's diverse classroom settings for the goal of student success. Participants will have opportunities to critically examine how privilege and power impact educational outcomes and to understand the role of educators as agents of change for social justice. Learners will use the framework "know yourself, your students, and your practice" to better understand their roles in student achievement. By exploring diversity through multiple perspectives, participants will gain insight into how their own cultural lenses impact their relationships with students and families. (A Performance Learning Systems online course)


EDCS-504 Response to Intervention

This course provides educators with an overview of the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework for providing data-differentiated instruction to meet the needs of today's diverse learners. Participants will learn about assessment and grouping practices for planning differentiated instruction to help students who struggle as well as how to establish structures for successful school wide RTI implementation. Throughout the course, participants will have multiple opportunities to evaluate how RTI can align with their current K-12 classroom and discover occasions for application. (A Performance Learning Systems online course)


EDCS-505 Simulations and Gaming Technologies for the Classroom Online

This course will familiarize teachers with contemporary gaming technologies, enable them to understand the pedagogical models behind games, and show how these gaming models may be used for learning. Video games provide today's youth with new kinds of learning experiences - like leading a virtual civilization or running a virtual guild with hundreds of other participants from around the real world. Through gaming, children engage in complex problem solving, sophisticated collaboration, and creative expression. However, there is some doubt about the effectiveness of gaming as a learning tool when restricted by old learning models. Today's youth must contend with this dichotomy: life outside school - open access to information, opportunities for deep expertise, multiple pathways for learning - and the learning inside school - traditional learning models, limited access to technology. With growing momentum, a new generation of educators is embracing games for learning. Some are already using learning games like Civilization, a commercially produced game, in the classroom. Promising research shows that games can - and will - become powerful learning environments for children (Barab et al, 2007; Squire & Jenkins, 2003; Squire, 2003). Combining the interactivity inherent in video games with complex learning models, a new generation of games is becoming readily available. Will the education system be ready for this new mode of learning? (A Performance Learning Systems online cours


EDCS-506 Writing Across the Curriculum

This course is designed to support teachers in grades three through six with effective writing instruction across content areas. Created specifically for upper-grade teachers, this course begins by focusing on direct writing instruction in a writing workshop. Participants will learn and practice specific craft and mechanics techniques that are tangible for students, supporting visible progress toward more general goals, such as writing with detail, sentence fluency, and voice. These sessions will also address how to support student independence within personal narrative and nonfiction units of study. The second half of this course looks at writing in the content areas, including math, science, and social studies. Participants will learn a broad range of writing formats that can elevate the way students process information and engage with material learned. For each content area, participants will learn strategies for effective writing instruction, ways to model writing formats, ways to support below-grade-level writers, and how to balance expectations of writing and content in formal and informal assessments. (A Performance Learning Systems online course)


EDCS-507 Creative Educational Solutions

This graduate level continuing studies course provides educators and related personnel with the opportunity to develop a personalized plan to meet identified needs within a classroom, school, school district, or community. Educators prioritize their needs and choose the strategies that best suit their individual plan criteria. Upon completion of an approved plan, the participant will develop action research-based solutions. Creativity in project design, experimentation with new pedagogical approaches, or new uses of instructional technology is highly encouraged. The final project will include presentation to colleagues in various settings.

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EDCS-510 Student Engagement and Standards-Based Learning

Using a standards-based approach as its foundation, Student Engagement and Standards-Based Learning explores high-impact learning activities designed to help teachers optimize student learning. Participants will use standards as a basis for designing learning activities, assessments, and scoring guides and will prioritize learning based on curriculum. Using alignment criteria and the POINT design components, participants will evaluate, modify, expand, and design standards-based learning activities in order to maximize student learning, engagement, and achievement. A variety of learning activities aligned to standards and the QFL Process Skills are featured in this course as participants learn to address the needs of 21st Century Learners and foster progress toward deeper retention and transfer of learning.


EDCS-511 Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom

In the educational realm of Response to Intervention and Differentiation, classroom teachers need practical, research-based strategies that consistently enhance student achievement for ALL students. In this course, participants will explore strategies and design lessons that focus on the learning challenges of diverse learners commonly encountered in an inclusive classroom. This course explores strategies and activities in six areas of instruction that are focused on the academic and social success of a community of learners.


EDCS-512 Integration of Faith and Learning in P-12 Christian School Classrooms

The single most important concern of Christian schools and its educators is the integration of learning, faith, and practice in every aspect of the curriculum. The goal of the course is to guide educators to help students think biblically and critically about every subject and about every aspect of their lives. This course will guide Christian educators to 1) make connections between a biblical worldview and curriculum content, 2) demonstrate a passion for lifelong learning, and 3) help them recognize and use their gifts and talents in a vocation to which God calls them.


EDCS-513 Creating Professional Learning Communities

Creating Professional Learning Communities Online (PLCs) is a dynamic, results-driven course that emphasizes teamwork, group learning, and professional development. Participants will share ideas, discuss divergent views, and formulate a mutual perspective on how they can significantly improve student achievement. Through team building activities, participants explore the challenges that educators face when forming and sustaining learning communities in schools and districts. By collaborating with classmates, participants learn what a professional learning community can accomplish and how the collective intelligence of an effective team is more powerful than working individually. Collaborative leadership, open communication, and a collective focus on results are explored in detail. At the end of the course, participants will have the skills necessary to form highly-productive PLCs in their schools and districts. They will also have a greater understanding of group learning and how team building strategies lead to student achievement.


EDCS-515 Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships In Today's Classroom

This course focuses on the sophisticated skills and habits of mind students need to be successful in post-secondary education, the world of work, and life in general. This course demonstrates the importance of integrating rigor, relevance, and relationships into classroom practice in order to provide these skills and improve achievement throughout the K-12 system. Educators will develop a deeper understanding of the terms as they are used in academic settings and will have multiple opportunities to reflect on their own practices, engage with new ideas, and apply tools and processes to use with their students. This course aligns with the Common Core and the 21st Century Standards.


EDCS-520 The Professional Character Development of the Teacher Leader

This course is designed to assist teachers in becoming agents of significant educational and cultural influence in their schools. Candidates will examine their own character and personality traits to create a development plan to determine how they can best use their individual gifts to impact students, colleagues, and stakeholders in their learning community. Candidates will gain understanding of how their personality fits with others' in the solution of problems and in the resolution of conflicts.


EDCS-521 Leading Change At the Classroom Level

This course provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of an effective leader of change in the classroom. Candidates will apply the components of change as they conduct and present research on an approved classroom project. Candidates will use classroom data to examine the implementation of the classroom project and assess its effectiveness. Additionally, the course leads candidates to focus on recommendations for future implementation of the project as they focus on change in their classrooms and schools.


EDCS-522 The Culturally Responsive Teacher Leader

This course will address the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the culturally competent teacher leader, evaluate school culture as it impacts school mission and vision, consider buy-in to school mission and vision, align educational practices to impact student achievement, promote a setting that values the diversity of the school setting, and evaluate the school's effectiveness in communicating with stakeholders to build trust and appreciation of shared values.


EDCS-546 Christian Philosophy of Education

This course provides an introduction to a biblical worldview and a Christian philosophy of education. It requires students to examine the presuppositions upon which they base their personal and professional actions and behaviors, and has them develop a coherent worldview. Additionally, the course leads students to develop a philosophy of education based on their worldview, and uses that philosophy to address issues relative to teaching, including the nature and potential of the student, the role of the teacher, the content of the curriculum, teaching methodology, and the social function of the school.

Indiana Weselayan