3 graduate credits provided by Fitchburg State University.

This graduate-level professional development course provides educators with an overview of dyslexia, which falls under the diagnostic umbrella of a specific learning disability (SLD). The first half of the course will define the learning disability, debunk associated myths, and explore the benefits of early identification and intervention. The neurological origins and common manifestations of dyslexia, as well as the comorbidity of dyslexia and other learning challenges (such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia), will also be explored. The second half of the course will introduce general best practices for supporting students with dyslexia, cover special education laws related to the SLD, and offer alternative perspectives for consideration. The final module will delve into several notable topics related to assessment including identifying students at risk for dyslexia, diagnosing dyslexia and utilizing assessment data to inform instructional decisions.

This course will help you:

  • Define the term dyslexia and debunk myths associated with the learning disability
  • Understand the neurological origins of learning challenges for individuals with dyslexia
  • Gain awareness of common co-occurring learning challenges among students with dyslexia, such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia
  • Explore general best-practice instructional strategies to support students
  • Build an understanding of the state and federal statutes that are in place to support students with dyslexia
  • Consider alternative perspectives of learning disabilities
  • Understand assessment procedures and types of assessments utilized to identify students at risk for dyslexia and to diagnose dyslexia

The course is divided into the following self-paced modules:

  • Module 1: Definition of dyslexia and other related learning disabilities
  • Module 2: Neurological origins and manifestations
  • Module 3: Comorbidity of dyslexia and other challenges
  • Module 4: Overview of general best classroom practices
  • Module 5: Special education laws
  • Module 6: Alternative social perspectives
  • Module 7: Assessment overview: screening and diagnosis

Each module will follow the same basic outline:

  • Reading of course content followed by a group discussion
  • A reading of additional course content followed by a brief quiz
  • A viewing of additional resources followed by a related application assignment
  • An opportunity to submit concluding thoughts/reflection responses about the relevance of the course content
  • A variety of readings followed by a reflective assignment

Specific Assignments:

  • Pre and Post-Assessments: These ungraded questionnaires will be completed at the beginning and end of the course in order for participants 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 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.
  • Application Assignments: The assignments in each module will require participants to apply their understanding of course content to follow the assignment directions and use examples provided as a guideline for format length, and quality of writing. These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Concluding Thoughts/Reflection Responses: These tasks require participants to briefly synthesize takeaways and/or make connections between course content and will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Reading and Reflection Assignments: These tasks involve additional reading assignments followed by the completion of a reflective assignment connecting theory to practice. Submissions will be assessed using specific rubrics.

Required Materials

Mullaly Hunt, L. (2015). Fish in a tree. New York, NY: Puffin Books.

Redford, J. (Director). (2012). The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia [Documentary]. KPJR Films.

Graduate Credit

Graduate credit is offered through Fitchburg State University and is included in the course fee. Once you register for graduate credit through Fitchburg, the grad credit portion of the course fee ($295) is non-refundable. Details about the graduate credit including timelines to register and refund policies will be embedded in the “Course Welcome” module of the online course.

See our FAQ page for specific information about our online courses.