Course Description

 Course Description

Welcome to Why DI?: An Introduction to Differentiated Instruction, an interactive computer-based instruction course, designed to give you an understanding of the framework of and need for creating supportive learning environments for diverse learning populations. In this course you will learn what is meant by Differentiated Instruction (DI) and the common myths associated with creating the differentiated classroom.  We will discuss the legal, theoretical, and pedagogical foundations in the field of education that support the utilization of differentiated instructional practices and principles.  We will reflect on best practices and national trends in the design of the educational setting to meet the needs of a diverse learning population. Participants will learn how a differentiated approach invites educators to consider any approach that supports student access to the general education curriculum and success in learning.

Why DI?: An Introduction to Differentiated Instruction will also provide connections to a variety of concepts, variables, and resources that will assist practitioners in aligning their own professional practices with those found in the differentiated classroom.

This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer.  Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.

This course, Why DI?: An Introduction to Differentiated Instruction, has been divided into four chapters. The organization of the course covers the What, Why, and Who of a classroom that reflects a Differentiated Instruction approach.

 Learning Objectives
  1. Understand how differentiated instruction is defined.
  2. Articulate why differentiated instruction is not a prescriptive approach.
  3. Outline the major elements within a classroom that teachers typically differentiate.
  4. Explain the role of curriculum and instruction in a differentiated classroom.
  5. Relate ways in which differentiated instruction may be useful when creating a personal teaching philosophy.
  6. Identify the core principles of classrooms reflecting a differentiated instructional approach.
  7. Outline the current systems-level, theoretical, legal, and pedagogical foundation for differentiation.
  8. Identify ways in which differentiated instruction compares and contrasts with specially designed instruction for students with disabilities.
  9. Explain how assessment in a classroom best exemplifies a differentiated approach.
  10. Articulate the primary methods for obtaining information about student interests, preferences, and overall learning profile.
  11. Understand the rationale for synthesis between leading curricular design method, Understanding by Design (UBD), and the differentiated instruction approach. 
  12. Distinguish elements of a differentiated approach from those of a non-differentiated, or “one size fits all” approach.
  13. Articulate the range of barriers when implementing a differentiated classroom including the importance of selecting accessible instructional materials (AEM).
  14. Analyze ways in which a differentiated approach addresses the role of ESSA in shaping professional practice and understanding of quality teaching.
  15. Understand the systemic pressures placed upon teachers and ways in which differentiation helps re-focus attention on the needs of students.
  16. Outline a framework for motivating all students in a way that is respectful, student-centered, and reflective of a differentiated approach.
  17. Relate to differentiated instruction’s concept of reciprocity of accountability for success of both teachers and students.
  18. Articulate how the current emphasis on teacher beliefs about learning and dispositions toward students are embraced within a differentiated approach.
  19. Articulate barriers that exist for those who are genuinely interested in implementing a differentiated approach.
  20. Articulate the role of the teacher, student, and parents in a differentiated classroom.
  21. Articulate the ways in which administrators can support teachers who are implementing a differentiated classroom.
  22. Discuss an expanded concept of diversity and learner variance to which teachers must respond.
  23. Identify characteristics of and initial strategies for creating a culturally responsive approach to student diversity.
  24. Assess current understanding of and willingness to implement a classroom aligned with differentiated instructional approach.
  25. Understand how a differentiated approach welcomes other approaches as broad as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) or as specific as Explicit Instruction.

There are no prerequisites.


As a student you will be expected to:

  • Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
  • Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented.  You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course.  *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
  • Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
  • Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
  • Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
 Estimated Time of Completion

40 Hours

 Access Time

365 Days

 CEU / PDU Outcomes

4.0 CEUs


For Additional Information Visit: https://www.virtualeduc.com/html_syllabus/WDI/WDI_UP3_syllabus.htm

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Section Title
Why DI?: An Introduction to Differentiated Instruction
Section Schedule
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $485.00
Reading List / Textbook
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