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

Based on the work of John Almarode, 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 science 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 science instruction across all grades K–12. Upon completion of this course, you will be prepared to analyze the impact of your own teaching practices on student progress and achievement and be able to apply your knowledge to guide students to become drivers of their own learning, regardless of the content area.


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

  • Articulate the key findings from Professor John Hattie’s visible learning research;
  • Demonstrate the importance of well-timed, effective strategies and instructional routines for science education;
  • Articulate the concepts of challenge, self-efficacy, and learning intentions with success criteria as they relate to science learning;
  • Employ science curriculum and instruction practices as they relate to the three-phase model (surface learning, deep learning, and transfer)


Course Modules Include:

  • Introduction
  • Module 1: What Is Surface Learning in Science?
  • Module 2: Deep Learning for Science
  • Module 3: Transfer of Science Learning
  • Module 4: Learning Intentions and Effective Feedback
  • Capstone

PDF icon surface_deep_transfer_vl_science_syllabus.pdf


Purchase 15-hour course