Teaching Students to Think Like Scientists: The Universal Design for Learning Approach – A Facilitated Self-paced Course


girl student holding a model of chemical molecules

This facilitated, self-paced course consists of 7 sessions.  In this course, participants learn about Universal Design for Learning through readings and video examples. Participants consider how high school science standards and Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects overlap in the area of writing. In this module we consider how UDL can help us to plan lessons appropriate for all students in a high school science classroom when we have goals around “thinking like a scientist.” In this module we will consider ways to build the critical thinking skills necessary for strong writing while focusing on thinking like a scientist. Participants will also explore tools to support writing and encourage science thinking.


By the end of the course, participants have developed or modified their own lesson with the framework of UDL to support writing while encouraging students to use critical thinking skills and to think like scientists in a given content area.

This is a facilitated experience. In this course participants are asked to explore media, and engage in “Try It” activities to put the principles of UDL into action in their own science classrooms. Students are also asked to discuss their learning with the course facilitator each week, and will receive feedback.

To learn more about this online course, including the option of taking the course for graduate credit, contact Alie Berg at 781-245-2212, ext 248 or aberg@cast.org.

We also offer this course (in a facilitated, scheduled format) to PreK-postsecondary institutions, as well as other organizations. For more information contact Madeline Reggiannini, Operations & Marketing Manager, at 781-245-2212, ext 240 or mreggiannini@cast.org.



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You can take this course at any time. Upon enrolling in the course, participants will have access to the course for 3 months.


A 10% discount is offered to teams of three or more people from the same institution who register together.

Who Should Enroll?

This course is appropriate for high school science teachers or science coaches who are interested in learning about:

  • How to address the learner variability in science classrooms
  • How to support high school students to become expert learners in science
  • Cutting-edge research from the learning sciences
  • How to implement UDL strategies into their practice

Credit Equivalency

Coursework for this module is equivalent to a 22.5-contact-hour, graduate-level course. Participants who complete the course with a C- (71%) or better will receive an email that contains a printable PDF of an official CAST certificate.