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Reaching All Artists through Differentiation

Reaching All Artists Through Differentiation

Differentiation is no longer a teaching strategy for the ambitious in education. Rather, it’s an expectation for everyone, including the art educator. During this course, you will use tools to maximize learning for all students: gifted learners, English language learners (ELL), special education students, and struggling students while acknowledging their unique interests. Upon completion of this course, you will have a toolkit of applicable strategies that can be immediately implemented to effectively increase engagement in all learners by creating student experiences appropriate for each individual skill level.

For the official course description, see the course syllabus or Graduate Catalog.

Required Materials

Differentiated Instruction in Art Education (2014): Fountain, ISBN-13: 978-1615281213. This Davis Publication text can be purchased in hard copy format or digitally via the Davis website.

Additional Materials

  • Computer with basic audio and video output equipment
  • Internet access (broadband recommended)
  • Basic computing skills (see AOEU’s Technology Requirements)
  • Access to AOEU’s online learning platform, Brightspace, to view course content, submit assignments, and engage in discussion (provided)
  • Word-processing platform (Microsoft Office, Pages, Google Docs)
Graduate Credits
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All courses will now close at 11 PM Central time on the 27th of each month. Graduate Credits 3 Graduate Credits
Price Graduate Credit $1047.00
AOEU Course Code
Morningside Course Code
EDUC500 AOE018

Course Objectives

  • Create a plan to manage the logistics of a differentiated art room, no matter how many students you serve.
  • Refine your own hybrid art curriculum using the latest research and methods.
  • Develop strategies for motivating even the most reluctant students to get excited about art.
  • Revise your existing lessons to differentiate for all learners.
  • Conduct interest and strength inventories to use in the art room.
  • Identify best practices in differentiation strategies.

Course Breakdown

Week 1
Why Differentiate?
  1. Build foundational knowledge of differentiation concepts and practices.
  2. Discuss findings and takeaways you can implement into your practice.
Week 2
Getting Started
  1. Learn about the teacher’s role in the differentiated classroom.
  2. Design a student pre-assessment or interest inventory.
Week 3
Developing Differentiated Curriculum
  1. Explore teaching strategies and instructional tools that can be used in a differentiated art classroom.
  2. Create a curricular matrix or action plan you will implement during your teaching practice.
Week 4
Choice Boards, Learning Menus, and WebQuests
  1. Craft a student choice board, learning menu, or WebQuest.
  2. Discuss findings and share perspectives with your instructor and peers.
Week 5
Adapting Existing Lessons
  1. Review and analyze differentiated lessons for elementary and secondary students.
  2. Modify an existing lesson or create an instructional tool incorporating differentiated strategies.
Week 6
Formative Assessment Through a Differentiated Lens
  1. Discuss the role of formative assessment in the differentiated classroom.
  2. Create your own formative assessment strategy or classroom tool.
Week 7
Differentiating for Learners
  1. Review and discuss strategies that best support English language learners and students with disabilities in the art room.
  2. Discuss giftedness in the art classroom and which differentiation strategies can best support gifted learners.
Week 8
  1. Reflect on your learning about differentiated instruction from the beginning to the end.

How to Assess When Differentiating

A sample assignment from Week 6 of the class Reaching All Artists Through Differentiation

1. Research

Formative assessments provide meaningful feedback to teachers and students, informing adjustments in instructional practice. Share takeaways from the provided resources about differentiated instruction as you cite specific examples from the readings.

2. Discussion

In what ways are you currently using formative assessments? If you are not using formative assessments, share two ways you plan on incorporating such practice.

3. Practical, Hands-On Application

Create formative assessment tools for your classroom, including a quick formative assessment and a written form. The two components can be designed to be used within the same unit or different units, your choice!

What do past course participants think?

Hundreds of art teachers have taken the course Reaching All Artists Through Differentiation. Here’s what they actually think — without cherry-picking.
(12-month rolling average from all post-course survey respondents – Updated 1/28/2021)


Course content was relevant and current.


Instructor was knowledgeable and provided value-added contributions.


I achieved the goals I set at the beginning of the course. 

Let's Get Started

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