Refocusing Attention: Tackling Student Distractions by Gaining Their Attention | Online Learning for Teachers pursuing Continuing Education and Professional Development | The Connecting Link


Refocusing Attention: Tackling Student Distractions by Gaining Their Attention

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Graduate-Level Credit / Non-Credit Hours
3 Semester Credits or 45 Clock Hours

Course Description

Participants in this course will learn how to build academic success by exploring and developing tools for cultivating their students’ attention and designing active learning experiences for all learners. Participants will explore creative strategies for reaching students from distractions to regaining and focusing their attention for learning. Research is based on Caitrin Blake, Neil Bradbury and Jaren Cooney Horvath, among others. Foundational work in this course will include the research on understanding distraction, strategies to decrease distractions, bringing students' attention within the classroom, and the different types of attention: curious, divided, structured, sustaining, mindful. Participants will synthesize these paradigms and develop a new understanding of the role that attention can play in student learning along with new tools, strategies and techniques for cultivating students’ attention along with a state-of-the-art approach in learning to meet their educational goals.

Global Goals of the Course

The following global goals of the course exist to deepen and/or apply the content and skills of teachers’ existing professional knowledge:

  1. To examine current research in best practices to help students stay attentive in their learning (NBPTS 3,4)
  2. To develop an understanding of the need for effective teaching strategies to develop attentive and curious students in today’s classroom (NBPTS 1,3,4)
  3. To analyze current instructional practices to create engaging and attention-driven practices to better support student learning (NBPTS 1,3,4)
  4. To explore possible applications or modify the classroom in order to respond to students’ needs and problem-based solving teaching models in the classroom in order to respond to students’ needs (NBPTS 1,2,3,4)
  5. To explore research-proven methods of lesson plan development that leads to capturing the attention of students and keeping it a meaningful learning experience. (NBTS 1,2,3,4)
  6. To synthesize best practices of and with others regarding attentive, creative, curious, and relevant teaching research and classroom applications (NBPTS 2,5)


By Helen Johnston
Reviewed 10 months ago
I took two courses simultaneously this spring through Connecting Link, and plan to take two more this summer. I was worried about it being too overwhelming, but the courses were easy to navigate, the assignments and projects were manageable and relevant to my teaching. The instructor, Steve Novak, provided timely feedback with detailed comments.

By Alissa Dovichi
Reviewed 1 year ago
The course content was engaging and relevant and the instructor, Steve, was enthusiastic and inquisitive about the content.

By Linda Huemann
Reviewed 1 year ago
I loved the class. The conversation was engaging. I felt like the instructor valued my time and expertise as a teacher. The course work was not busy work, but was productive and useful.

By Natalie Madden
Reviewed 8 months ago
Mary was wonderful and always had great feedback and suggestions for the lessons and our classrooms.

By Brittany Stewart
Reviewed 8 months ago
It was great! It fit into my busy schedule, especially at the end of the school year. Mary is wonderful to work with!

By Allison Wahlberg
Reviewed 5 months ago
It was a great process, the outline of the course was really well-thought out.

By Elizabeth Deckinga
Reviewed 4 months ago
Mary is a fabulous instructor who knows the real struggles teachers face.

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