Next cohort starts July 11, 2021

Join us before it sells out!

This course is designed for teachers and instructional leaders who have some experience with conceptual learning and transfer -- such as attending a webinar or workshop or reading some of our publications -- and want to sharpen their skillset, collaborate with other like-minded educators, and contribute to a set of resources that foster conceptual understanding and learning that transfers. 

Participants will create a unit storyboard with prompts and tasks that can be used directly with students; and receive a badge to place in professional materials such as social media and resumes. The course lasts six weeks and uses a cohort model so that everyone collaborates, but all lessons are completely asynchronous, you log on each week at a time that works for you. Each week's module takes around 60-90 minutes to complete. Here is a course calendar with due dates. We are so excited to launch and can't wait for you to join us.

Group discount for 5+ participants.  Email 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Course Welcome and Orientation

    • Lesson O.1: Welcome from Julie Stern (4:25)

    • Lesson O.2: Course Orientation (10 min total)

    • Lesson O.3: Course Calendar

    • Lesson O.4: Participant Introductions & Flipgrid

  • 2

    Module 1: Introduction and Demonstration Lesson

    • Welcome to Module 1 (1:07)

    • Important Survey -- Tell Us About Yourself

    • Lesson 1.1: Success Criteria for Module 1 (1:08)

    • Lesson 1.2: Why does education need to evolve? (3:15)

    • Lesson 1.3: Learning Transfer Mental Model Overview (1:14)

    • The Mental Model Student Experience (0:45)

    • Lesson 1.4: Acquire Understanding of Concepts, Lesson Example (1:49)

    • Lesson 1.5: Connect Concepts in Relationship, Lesson Example (2:45)

    • Lesson 1.6: Transfer Learning to Novel Situations, Lesson Example (4:01)

    • Lesson 1.7: Conclusion of Module 1 (1:51)

    • Module 1 Reflection

  • 3

    Module 2: Acquire Understanding of Individual Concepts

    • Lesson 2.1: Acquire Phase of the Learning Transfer Mental Model (1:50)

    • Check for Understanding: Fact/Example vs Concept Sorting Game

    • Lesson 2.2: Acquire and Make Meaning of Individual Concepts (1:23)

    • Lesson 2.3: "Organizing is to Make Meaning" Oliver Caviglioli (0:57)

    • Lesson 2.4: Concepts, Organization, & Surface Level Learning (5:03)

    • Anchoring Concepts & Storyboard Build

    • Lesson 2.5: Acquire Strategies (4:15)

    • Storyboard Build - Add Strategies

    • Lesson 2.6: Conclusion (2:08)

    • Module 2 Reflection

  • 4

    Module 3: Connect Concepts in Relation

    • Lesson 3.1: Introduction to the Connect Phase of the Learning Transfer Mental Model (1:33)

    • Lesson 3.2: What are Schemas? (1:00)

    • Check for Understanding: What is deep learning?

    • Lesson 3.3: What is the relationship between deep learning, conceptual questions, and contexts? (5:54)

    • Check for Understanding: Surface vs. Deeper Learning Game

    • Conceptual Question and Context

    • Lesson 3.4: Connect Strategies (4 min)

    • Storyboard Build & Peer Check

    • Lesson 3.5 Module 3 Conclusion

    • Module 3 Reflection

  • 5

    Module 4: Similar to Dissimilar Transfer

    • Lesson 4.1: Introduction to Similar & Dissimilar Transfer (2:05)

    • Lesson 4.2: What is Transfer of Learning? (3:35)

    • Lesson 4.3: Typical Types of Transfer (1:47)

    • Lesson 4.4: Similar to Dissimilar Transfer (4:23)

    • Idea Sharing: Similar to Dissimilar Transfer Padlet

    • Storyboard Build

    • Lesson 4.5: Conclusion of Module 4 (2:43)

    • Module 4 Reflection

  • 6

    Module 5: Academic to Real-World Transfer

    • Lesson 5.1: Introduction to Real-World Transfer (2:47)

    • Lesson 5.2: Innovation at the Intersection Video (1.08)

    • Lesson 5.3: Real-World Transfer (3:22, 2:41, & 4:21)

    • Check for Understanding: Academic or Real-World Situation

    • Lesson 5.4: From Academic, Similar Transfer to Real-World, Dissimilar Transfer (3:05, 3:23, & 1:42)

    • Storyboard Build

    • Module 5 Reflection

  • 7

    Module 6: Putting it All Together & Feedback

    • Lesson 6.1: Putting it all Together (0:43)

    • Lesson 6.2: Voice, Choice, and Student Action (3:10)

    • Storyboard Feedback!

    • Submit your final storyboard.

    • Lesson 6.3: How to Connect With Us (3:14)

    • Course Feedback

    • Lesson 6.4: Course Closing (0:52)


Erin Leininger

Erin Leininger is the Middle School Curriculum Coordinator at International School Manila. She has a Doctor of Education Leadership and is the co-author of the book Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners. She has taught diverse groups of adolescents in national and international contexts, including California, Rhode Island, Kuwait, China, and the Philippines. She is passionate about the science of teaching and learning and is dedicated to fostering collaborative, innovative, and reflective learning environments for both teachers and students. She also holds a certificate of International School Leadership from the Principals’ Training Center, a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish Literature.

Nichelle Pinkney

Nichelle Pinkney currently serves as a K-12 Social Studies Coordinator in Texas. Her ultimate goal is to make learning visible in all classrooms at each level and that EVERY student has at least a year's worth of growth as a result of it. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Political Science, a Masters in Educational Administration, a certification in online teaching and learning, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Education Leadership.

Trevor Aleo

Trevor Aleo is an English teacher in Connecticut. In addition to leading grade level teams at his own school, he’s drafted curriculum at the district level, created instructional resources for the Virginia Department of Education, and presented at local, state, and regional conferences. He believes education should help people become better meaning makers, problem solvers, and story tellers and is dedicated to facilitating learning experiences where that can happen. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Learning Design and Leadership.

Course Creators

Kayla Duncan

Kayla is a personalized instruction coach for Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Georgia. Her passion centers around empowering student voice through meaningful, authentic experiences and increased ownership. Kayla currently supports personalized learning cohort schools in creating their new vision for education through the design thinking process. She believes the voices of students and the community should drive what happens in the school building. Before her coaching role, Kayla taught elementary physical education and middle grades mathematics.

Julie Stern

Julie Stern is passionate about synthesizing the best of education research into practical tools that support educators in breaking free of the industrial model of schooling and moving toward teaching and learning that promotes sustainability, equity, and well-being. She is the best-selling author of Learning that Transfers, Visible Learning for Social Studies, and Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Secondary. She is the thought leader behind the global workshop series Making Sense of Learning Transfer and is a certified trainer in Visible Learning Plus. She is a James Madison Constitutional Fellow and taught social studies for many years in Washington, DC and her native Louisiana. Julie moves internationally every few years with her husband, a US diplomat, and her two young sons.

Learning Intentions and Success Criteria

I understand how concepts help us to navigate, make sense of, and organize our complex world.

  • I can help students to become more conscious of their thinking and learning.

  • I can help students understand the role of concepts in organizing our world.

  • I can help students acquire understanding and make meaning of individual concepts.

  • I can facilitate students’ articulation of their understanding of conceptual relationships.

  • I can promote depth and breadth of understanding through transferring conceptual relationships to new situations.