Online Course Description – Executive Function

Executive Function: Impact on Academic Proficiency

Credits:

  • 15 PDPs/Hours (INCLUDED)
  • 1 Graduate Credit (optional for a fee)
  • 1.5 ASHA CEUs (optional)
  • This course is also available in a 3-credit format

This professional development course provides educators with an overview of the components of executive function. It covers the impacts of having both a language-based learning disability (LBLD) and executive function deficits, as well as practical instructional strategies to support students. As a result of the learning experiences in this course, participants will be more competent in their ability to:

  • Identify students’ executive function deficits in the classroom
  • Recognize how executive function deficits are compounded for students with LBLD
  • Implement and differentiate targeted strategies to help students to better manage language and executive function demands
  • Promote student success at an appropriate level of individualized instruction

The course is divided into six, self-paced modules:

  • Overview of Executive Function: This module presents an overview of executive function and its importance for achieving academic proficiency, particularly for students with language-based learning disabilities.
  • Attention and Memory: This module outlines how attention and memory impact students’ ability to achieve academic goals.
  • Emotion: This module covers the role of emotion in learning. It addresses how negative emotions from past experiences can interfere with students’ executive function and performance in the classroom.
  • Motivation:  This module explores the motivational systems that guide our reactions and responses to incoming information, and the importance of motivation for achieving success in school.
  • Effort: This module outlines the importance of helping students feel successful as a result of the effort they put forth on tasks.
  • Landmark Teaching Principles: This module outlines the six Landmark Teaching Principles™ and how the implementation of these instructional strategies can support students with LBLD and executive function deficits.

Each module will follow the same basic outline:

  • A reading assignment followed by a short quiz
  • A video outlining how the module topic impacts academic proficiency followed by a discussion post
  • Strategy demonstration videos of Landmark School teachers employing practical instructional strategies followed by a related assignment
  • A summation of the module

Specific Assignments:

  • Pre and Post-Assessments: These ungraded questionnaires will be completed at the beginning and end of the course in order to self-assess knowledge and application of course content.
  • Quizzes: The quizzes will assess comprehension of the content from the required reading. The quizzes will be automatically graded within the course platform. Although participants must earn an 80% or higher to move on to the next section of the course, there are unlimited attempts allowed.  
  • Discussion Posts: The discussions will require participants to post an initial response and reply to at least one other post. These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.  
  • Assignments: The assignments in each module will require participants to put theory into practice as they read and follow the specific directions, and use examples provided as a guideline for format, length, and quality of writing. These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Written Reflection: This final 500-word reflection will require participants to reflect on the course content and its future application.  This task will be assessed using a specific rubric.

The following text is required for the course:

Newhall, P. W. (2014). Executive function: foundations for learning and teaching. In P.W. Newhall (Ed.), Language-based teaching series. Prides Crossing, MA: Landmark School Outreach Program.

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“I found the course to be extremely helpful in understanding my students with LBLD and executive function deficiency. The strategies and questionnaires will be very useful as I go forward in trying to determine where the difficulties lie with students. Overall, I am much more informed about the needs of students with executive function deficits than many of my colleagues, and hope to share strategies with them.”

– Rosemary Dunning

Special Education Inclusion Specialist

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