Fredrikson School of Education

EDU 507: Evolving Roles of Teachers and Learners

Summer 2023

Course Information & Catalog Description

Course Prefix & Course Title: EDU 507 Evolving Roles of Teachers and Learners

Semester & Year: Summer 2023

Days/time class meets: 5/31/23-8/18/23

Live sessions (Zoom Links will be emailed the day of the session):

  • June 12 Live Session (Intro) Monday 7:00 CDT (6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT)
  • June 26 Live Session 1 Monday 7:00 CDT (6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT)
  • July 10 Live Session 2 Monday 7:00 CDT (6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT)
  • July 31 Live Session 3 Monday 7:00 CDT (6:00 MDT, 5:00 PDT)

Location class meets: Online Asynchronous and Zoom live sessions

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: n/a 

Course description: This course provides insight into how teachers’ and learners’ roles change as classrooms evolve in personalized environments. In this course, educators will explore the growing significance of developing learner agency and self-regulation for student success. Participants will examine the increasing need for collaboration among educators-with-learners, educators-with- educators, and learners-with-learners. Participants will also analyze their own classroom approaches and their school’s approaches to motivating students. This includes exploring research on the impact of grading practices on student motivation and developing goals/strategies to shift from problematic external motivational approaches to teaching and learning with intrinsic motivation. (3 s.h.) 

Credit Hour Policy Statement

Short Session: Credit hours may be earned in short sessions (accelerated, summer sessions, interim, etc.) proportionately to those earned for the equivalent academic-related activity during a regular term of the university, normally at no more than one credit hour per week of full-time study.

Contact Information

Instructor: Lennie Symes

Office Hours: By appointment 

Phone: 605-863-2481cell 


Communication Expectations: I prefer email as my main form of communication, but if necessary you can text message me at 6058632481. If you have any questions or struggles, we can also arrange a web-based meeting or phone call.

Required Texts

I wish we had the time to read all the books! In total, there are 3 required texts.

I have set up three groupings of books with options for you to choose. If you have no preference, choose the first book in each category. Please choose a book you have not read before.

Required Book 1 Alternatives (Choose one of the five):

[Instruction-Oriented Books]

The Mastery Learning Handbook by Jon Bergman ISBN: 9781416631439, 1416631437
Bergmann, J. (2022). The Mastery Learning Handbook: A Competency-Based Approach to Student Achievement. United States: ASCD.


Balance With Blended Learning By Catlin R. Tucker · 2020 ISBN: 9781544389509, 1544389507
Tucker, C. R. (2020). Balance With Blended Learning: Partner With Your Students to Reimagine Learning and Reclaim Your Life. United States: SAGE Publications.


 Learn Like a Pirate  by Paul Solarz ISBN:9780988217669 Dave Burgess Consulting
Solarz, P. (2015). Learn Like a PIRATE: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed. United States: Dave Burgess Consulting, Incorporated.

Teaching Kids to Thrive: Essential Skills for Success by Debbie Thompson, Dedra A. Stafford  Silver  ISBN:9781506381589
Silver, D., Stafford, D. (2017). Teaching Kids to Thrive: Essential Skills for Success. United States: SAGE Publications.


Collective Student Efficacy Developing Independent and Inter-Dependent Learners by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Shirley Clarke ISBN: 978-1-5443-8344-6
Fisher, D., Hattie, J., Frey, N., Clarke, S. (2021). Collective Student Efficacy: Developing Independent and Inter-Dependent Learners. United States: SAGE Publications.

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller ISBN: 9780470623428 Wiley
Miller, D. (2010). The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. Germany: Wiley.


[Systemic / Big-Picture Books]

Breaking With Tradition: The Shift to Competency-Based Learning in PLCs at Work by Brian M. Stack and Jonathan G. Vander Els ISBN:9781943874064
Stack, B. M., Vander Els, J. G. (2017). Breaking with Tradition: The Shift to Competency-based Learning in PLCs at WorkTM. United States: Solution Tree Press.


Five Levers to Improve Learning: How to Prioritize for Powerful Results in Your School by Tony FrontierJames Rickabaugh ISBN:9781416617631
Frontier, T., Rickabaugh, J. (2014). Five Levers to Improve Learning: How to Prioritize for Powerful Results in Your School. United States: ASCD.

Required Book 2 Alternatives (Choose one of the four):

Giving Students a Say by Myron Dueck ISBN: 9781416629825, 1416629823
Dueck, M. (2021). Giving Students a Say: Smarter Assessment Practices to Empower and Engage. United States: ASCD.


Grading for Equity What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms by Joe Feldman ISBN: 9781506391595 SAGE Publications
Feldman, J. (2018). Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms. United States: SAGE Publications.


How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, by Susan M. Brookhart ISBN:9781416623090 ASCD
Brookhart, S. M. (2017). How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students. United States: ASCD.


Assessing with Respect by Starr Sackstein ISBN:9781416629993 (pdf)  ASCD
Sackstein, S. (2021). Assessing with Respect: Everyday Practices That Meet Students’ Social and Emotional Needs. United States: ASCD.


Flash Feedback: Responding to Student Writing Better and Faster – Without Burning Outby Matthew Johnson ISBN:9781071803134 Corwin 
Johnson, M. (2020). Flash Feedback [Grades 6-12]: Responding to Student Writing Better and Faster – Without Burning Out. United States: Corwin Press.


Grading from the Inside Out  by Tom Schimmer 9781936763863 Solution Tree Press
Schimmer, T. (2016). Grading from the Inside Out: Bringing Accuracy to Student Assessment Through a Standards-Based Mindset. United States: Solution Tree Press.

Required Book 3 Alternatatives (Choose one of the three):

Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education by Glenn Whitman, Ian Kelleher ISBN:9781475825367
Kelleher, I., Whitman, G. (2016). Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education. United States: Rowman & Littlefield.


Five Teaching and Learning Myths—Debunked: A Guide for Teachers Adam M. Brown and Althea Need Kaminske ISBN: 9781351368148
Need Kaminske, A., Brown, A. M. (2018). Five Teaching and Learning Myths—Debunked: A Guide for Teachers. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.


Understanding How We Learn A Visual Guide by Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki, Oliver Caviglioli ISBN: 9781351358040
Caviglioli, O., Weinstein, Y., Sumeracki, M. (2018). Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Related Optional Readings:

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink ISBN:9781101524381

Self-Determination Theory Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness Richard M. Ryan Edward L. Deci Epub Edition ISBN: 9781462528783; Kindle Edition ISBN: 9781462528790 Copyright © 2017

Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders by James Rickabaugh ISBN:9781416621591

Self-regulation in the classroom : helping students learn how to learn by Richard M. Cash ISBN:9781631980848

Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success by Arthur L. Costa Bena Kallick  ISBN:9781416608325

Course-level Student Learning Outcomes

Participants will

  • examine the importance of implementing learner agency and growth mindset in a customized environment
  • implement activities and resources for explicitly teaching learner agency skills
  • explore current and outdated motivation practices and techniques for enhancing intrinsic motivation
  • examine structures and teaching strategies for improving learning
  • explore aspects of developing active and passive leadership capabilities of learners in a student-led classroom
  • investigate ways to implement choice and pace into classroom instruction
  • develop an understanding of ever-increasing collaboration with educators and learners
  • examine models of restructuring standards for more flexible delivery and monitoring of student progress
  • review common grading practices that inhibit customized environments
  • explore mastery- or competency-based assessment practices
  • develop an understanding of cognitive science and its role for improving instructional and learning practices
Course Requirements & Evaluation

Grading Scale & Total Points Possible:

As a reminder, the FSoE policy states that any grade below a “C” must be repeated. 

*All assignments must be completed in order to pass the course.

Late Work Policy: This course is self-paced with only a couple of assignments with hard deadlines. Everyone can re-do assignments—I would rather see mastery demonstrated by all, as opposed to sorting students via grades. My process is to give you feedback on your assignment by identifying my interpretation of your thinking. I often provide feedback withholding the grade for a few days/weeks as grades encourage people to work for the grade rather than for improved learning (there is a difference). 

Attendance Policy: Participation in all Live Sessions is expected. If there is an unavoidable conflict, you can watch the video of the Live Session and compose a paper describing your learning. For the first three weeks of class, emails and assignments will count as attendance.

Online class:

Faithful and consistent class participation is considered the standard for attendance in online courses at the University of Sioux Falls. Such attendance is important for both the integrity of the course and the student’s own intellectual development. Student attendance will be dependent upon the completion of academically related activities in the assigned time frame.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the university concerning any courses that they are no longer attending, as well as their intention to leave the university. Discontinuing participation or notifying an instructor does not constitute an official course or university withdrawal. Lack of engagement may have a significant negative impact on the student’s grade in the course at the discretion of the instructor.

Course Outline & Schedule

Unit 1

U1Asgmt1 Video Due June 6

U1Asgmt2 Short Paper Due June 8 (prior to Live Session Intro)

U2Asgmt3 Paper review of articles due June 10 (prior to Live Session Intro)

U1Asgmt4 Participate June 12 Live Session Intro (or makeup paper due June 17)

U1Asgmt5 Participate June 26 Live Session 1 (or makeup paper due July 1)

U1AsgmtBk Book Paper Due June 25 (at least draft)

Unit 2

U2AsgmtBk Book Paper Due July 10 (at least draft)

U2Asgmt1 Feedback Paper Due July 15 (at least draft)

U2Asgmt2 Flexible Instruction Document and Paper Due July 20

U2Asgmt3 Participate July 10 Live Session 2 (or makeup paper due July 15)

Unit 3

U3Asgmt1 Presentation Due July 25

U3AsgmtBk Book Paper Due Aug 1 (at least draft)

U3Asgmt2 Participate Jul 31 Live Session 3 (or makeup paper due Aug 4)

Final Due Aug 10 (at least draft)

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Learning Accessibility Services at (605) 331-6740 or  Accommodations can only be arranged through this office, which is located in the Academic Success Center (McDonald Center). 

Title IX Statement

In compliance with, among other laws, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (Clery Act), I am mandated to report to USF administrators facts disclosing the possible commission of a Clery Act offense or discrimination based upon sex in the provision of educational activities. Please be aware that all of our communications, or your communications that I have knowledge of but am not a party to, are not confidential and can form the basis for a mandated report. If you have questions, please contact Julie Gednalske, the Title IX Coordinator, at 605-331-6683 or at


All work created on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically granted copyright protection in the United States for the duration of the original author’s life plus 70 years (  Therefore, these course materials, including World Wide Web links, are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without express permission of the author. The materials provided in this course are for the use of enrolled students only.     

Academic Honesty & Plagiarism Policy

USF holds firmly to the conviction that personal and intellectual integrity should be fundamental values at a Christian university. For this reason, USF expects all students and employees of the University to act honestly, ethically, and fairly and to avoid activities that would compromise the academic mission of the University.  To make this standard explicit, the University provides a list of actions that it considers being inappropriate, unethical, and harmful to the learning environment at USF.  These may be found in the USF Student Handbook.

Status of the Syllabus

This syllabus results from the instructor’s effort to fairly represent the plan for this course.  Circumstances may cause the instructor to make changes in the plan, but such changes will not be capricious and will be made in a timely fashion.  Please speak with your instructor if there is anything in the syllabus about which you are unclear.

Instructor Information

My name is Lennie Symes, your instructor. I am currently a consultant working with schools to create personalized/customized environments. I previously worked with Technology & Innovation in Education for 15 years, the last few years particularly working as a co-creator for a comprehensive customized learning project. We received a Bush Foundation Grant to implement our program to help 19 schools across South Dakota achieve expanding levels of customized learning, as well as schools in a variety of states.  I do look forward to working with you in this program!

Netiquette & Communication Expectations

Most times people get in trouble for the TONE of their comments, not just the CONTENT. 

Basic netiquette guidelines include:

  • Be respectful of other people and their opinions.
  • Write clearly and pick your words carefully, avoiding sarcasm. Visual cues used to convey meaning when speaking with others in a face-to-face environment are missing in online communications, so be sure to convey your thoughts carefully. Posts based upon race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or disability, out of the context of the discussion, generally are inappropriate.
  • Inflammatory, condescending, harassing, or derogatory remarks are inappropriate.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Using all capital letters in online communications is considered SHOUTING.
  • Use emoticons, (e.g. smiley faces) and chat acronyms (e.g. LOL, BRB) sparingly because they could be misinterpreted.
  • When posting to a public forum, keep your post on topic and be sure to add content that contributes substantially to the topic.