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

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

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The purpose of this course is to connect the visible learning research to instructional strategies that accelerate student learning in literacy. 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 literacy across all grades K–12.

As Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie write, “Every student deserves a great teacher, not by chance, but by design.”


By the end of this course, you will:

  • Communicate the importance of well-timed, effective strategies and instructional routines for literacy education, and
  • Apply the three-phase learning process (surface learning, deep learning, and transfer learning) to literacy curriculum planning and instructional practices.


Course Modules Include:

  • Introduction
  • Module 1: What Is Surface Learning in Literacy?
  • Module 2: Deep Learning for Literacy
  • Module 3: Transfer of Literacy Learning
  • Module 4: Organization of Concepts and Knowledge
  • Capstone

PDF icon surface_deep_transfer_vll_syllabus.pdf


Purchase 15-hour course