Differentiation for learning NE702

Develop how you use scaffolding to enable all students to progress their learning and address their needs by differentiating for learning by task.


Participants can start this course at any time after the advertised date.

In this course, Professor Chris Harrison explains that good teaching is not about individual tuition for 30 students in a class. It’s about making use of good diagnostic assessment and then making a decision about what you need to do over the next few lessons to ensure that all students are challenged in their learning – it’s responsive teaching. 

Over this course we will explore three key principles around responsive teaching:

  •  Everyone can develop knowledge, understanding and skills.
  •  All students need to be challenged in their thinking in order to learn.
  • All learners in the classroom need to be motivated to learn.

We've designed the course to be flexible and included a range of activities to challenge your thinking. To support you we have provided lots of examples of approaches to adaptive teaching demonstrated in a range of real classrooms.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and have taken a lot away from it.”  Primary teacher, UK.


Who is it for?

This course is for teachers, curriculum leaders, newly qualified teachers, trainee teachers and others involved in teaching science, engineering, technology, computing or mathematics. It’s suitable for educators working in primary, secondary or further education (ages 5-19 years). To get the most out of this course, participants will need to be currently teaching a class of students. This course draws upon the key concepts from our Introducing assessment for learning course. However, this course can be taken as a standalone course and all learning will be supported within the content of the course. 

What topics are covered?

This course covers:

  • Scaffolding the learning: floors not ceilings.
  • Establishing an environment where everyone believes they are able to achieve and succeed in their learning.
  • Watch real classroom examples of how student choice can be planned for.
  • Observe teachers using strategies to increase challenge and ownership of learning.

How will you learn?

This online, self-paced course can be completed flexibly. Participants can join and start this course at any time after the advertised date.
This course is not facilitated. You can learn independently or with colleagues to directly address your individual needs. 

How long is this course?

This course takes around 9 hours to complete and you do not need to be online at any specific time. You can take the course at your own pace.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe the key principles of differentiation for learning.
  • evaluate a range of practical ideas that can be used to scaffold students’ learning.
  • collect and analyse evidence from students on changes implemented in the classroom in order to critically reflect on own practice in order to prioritise next steps in own development.
  • develop a classroom culture that motivates all learners.
  • identify approaches to increase challenge and ownership of learning within their teaching context.



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