Innovate with UDL during distance learning

COVID-19 has kept more than a billion students out of the physical classroom, and has required us as practitioners to change practices overnight. As much as it feels like we have to change everything and that we are working outside the box – we are very much still operating “inside the box” where we have to meet district expectations while at home.  Although it feels like everything is changing, the “core” of innovative teaching and learning continues to provide a foundation for our own success, and the success of our learners. This course, Innovate In the [Virtual] Box with UDL, will focus on the four components of the core of innovation as outlined in our book, Innovate Inside the Box: Empowering Learners Through UDL and the Innovator’s Mindset and then help to scale the core and the Innovator’s Mindset through the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This course is designed to provide real-time collaboration with educators from around the world using our book and the UDL framework. In every unit, we will provide a variety of resources to increase options for representation and increase engagement throughout the course. Additionally, there will be numerous options to participate in discussions to ensure that your reflections and connections are relevant, authentic, and meaningful. Take advantage of each other’s brilliance because as George says, “The smartest person in the room, IS the room.” Take a short break from your classes every day to connect with like-minded educators and get strategies to implement immediately with students and their families.

Course Details

This is a non-facilitated self-paced online course.

You will have 90 days of access to the course to complete the work. This course will consist of eight modules.

Course Designers: George Couros & Katie Novak

Cost: $150 for 36 contact hours (3.6 CEUs). Graduate credit (3 credits) may be obtained for this course for an additional $225 through Gordon College. The graduate credit fee is paid directly to Gordon College

All participants who complete all course modules and submit a final project will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course. Those who pay the additional fee to Gordon College will also receive 3 graduate level credits. Contact Ashley at for details and instructions for obtaining graduate credit.

Course Objectives

Increase your toolbox of strategies to build relationships with students and their families while providing opportunities for remote learning.

Learn how to use authentic forms of evidence to inform teaching and learning now that (thankfully!) we must look beyond standardized test scores.

Learn and share examples of “empowered learning” in remote learning environments.

Reflect on how transitioning to emergency support for students will shift practices in the future to be more universally designed.

Understand how each of the characteristics of the Innovator’s Mindset can be fostered through implementation of Universal Design for Learning.

Course Requirements

This course is offered online through eight modules. Students will have access to the course for 90 days after enrollment to complete the work. 

Students will have the opportunity to communicate with fellow participants through discussion boards and will receive feedback from Katie Novak on the final project submission.

This non-facilitated, self-paced course will be offered through Thinkific. All discussion responses and the final project must be submitted electronically through Thinkific. 

About the Course Designers

Katie Novak EdD

Katie Novak

Katie Novak, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned education consultant and co-author of Innovate Inside the Box with George Couros. With 17 years of experience in teaching and administration, an earned doctorate in curriculum and teaching, and seven published books, Katie designs and presents workshops both nationally and internationally focusing on the implementation of inclusive practices, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), multi-tiered systems of support, and universally designed leadership. Novak’s work has impacted educators worldwide as her contributions and collaborations have built upon the foundation for an educational framework that is critical for student success.

George Couros

George Couros

George Couros is an “Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant”, speaker, as well as the author of “The Innovator’s Mindset” and “Innovate Inside the Box.”  Formerly, George was the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning with Parkland School Division, located in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, and has over 20 years of experience as an educator, in a myriad of roles from K-12. George am passionate about distributed leadership within my division, and believe that creating a collaborative environment with all stakeholders, will help to ensure that we meet the best needs of all children.


We would love to have you join us! Click below to register and enroll in Innovate Inside the [Virtual] Box. 

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