Professional Certificate Focuses on Digital Learning Spaces

The global pandemic has overnight changed the way teachers create engaging, high quality learning environments. While most teacher training and curriculum development has assumed in-person learning, faculty at the GSE know that teaching practices are different when classrooms go online.

To help address this sudden shift in how education is delivered, the GSE is offering a professional certificate that focuses on how to develop high quality online curricula and teaching practices that build community and engage every student. 

Teaching and Learning in Digital Spaces (TLDS) is led by Berkeley faculty who are highly regarded for their decades of research on the multiple dimensions of distance learning, including a successful track record of teaching online courses. 

“In many ways, the practices that make for good teaching in-person are also good practices online, such as peer groups, active learning, and projects, but often require more forethought and different fluencies to enact in digital spaces,” said Professor Zachary Pardos. 

“It's conversely true that the negative effects of flaws in in-person pedagogy can become amplified when translated online, such as increased inequities and disengagement. Courses in this program explore effective teaching practices and related fluencies from a digital-first perspective,” Pardos said.

The certificate program welcomes students enrolled at any of the 10 UC campuses; classroom teachers; curriculum and digital designers; among others. All courses include live dialogue with professors and fellow students. Courses begin September 2020 entirely online and the certificate can be earned within 12 months. 

“Online teaching is here to stay. In an ideal situation, online is blended with old-fashioned classes in-person,” said Professor Bruce Fuller. “Our courses also look at how teachers can invigorate online elements of teaching long-term, innovations that can enrich in-person pedagogies as well.”

The TLDS program culminates in an optional four-day seminar in the summer of 2021 on the Berkeley campus where students present their portfolios and faculty provide hands-on workshops.

Learn more about the Teaching and Learning in Digital Spaces (TLDS) professional certificate.

  • Fundamental principles for designing online courses, from engaging activities for preschool-age children to university courses.

  • Lessons from the learning sciences on how to best motivate students (and teachers) with digital materials.

  • Understanding the varieties of digital learning tools available and gaining an intuition for evaluating their quality and suitability through hands-on experience.

  • Combining ‘known knowledge' tied to the Common Core, and 'new knowledge' emerging from digital tools and spaces, with imaginative hands-on projects.

  • How to balance robust synchronous dialogue with groups of students, matched with more personal one-on-one sessions (without growing tired).

  • Creating transformative learning communities that serve students from diverse cultural, ethnic backgrounds.

  • Leveraging what’s known about child and adolescent development to pique student motivations.