Surface, Deep, and Transfer Learning in the Visible Learning for Mathematics Classroom

Based on the work of Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie

Available Formats:


The purpose of this course is to connect the Visible Learning research to instructional strategies that accelerate student learning in mathematics education. You will examine dynamic and high-probability teaching strategies that support surface, deep, and transfer phases of learning and see these strategies in action with video from real classrooms. This course is designed for teachers focused on mathematics instruction across all grades K–12.


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

  • Explain and evaluate the characteristics of mathematical tasks and talk that make learning visible;
  • Demonstrate the importance of well-timed, effective strategies and instructional routines for mathematics education; and
  • Employ mathematics curriculum instruction practices as they relate to the three-phase learning process (surface learning, deep learning, and transfer learning)


Course Modules Include:

  • Introduction
  • Module 1: Effective Mathematical Tasks and Talk
  • Module 2: Surface Learning for Mathematics
  • Module 3: Deep Learning for Mathematics
  • Module 4: Transfer Learning for Mathematics
  • Capstone

PDF icon vl_math_surface_deep_transfer_syllabus.pdf


Purchase 15-hour course