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The Boise State College of Education in partnership with Virtual Education Software, inc (VESi) offers online courses for educators that are convenient, flexible, and teach relevant and applicable content.

For descriptions of individual courses and to access a copy of the course syllabus click on the course description links below. For help getting started see Getting Started. To review current professional development course offerings see VESi Course Offerings.

Advanced Classroom Management: Children as Change Agents (ED-CIFS/ED-ECS)

Focuses on cognitive and cognitive-behavioral interventions with an emphasis on teaching students how to change and manage their own behavior. Since previous knowledge and understanding of traditional behavioral concepts and strategies is required, it is strongly recommended that you take an introductory behavior management course to learn the basic terms and concepts of behavior management. Primary audience is professionals (educators, instructional assistants, school psychologists, and counselors) serving children and youth. View the course syllabus.

Attention Deficit Disorder: Information & Interventions (ED-SPED)

Develop better understanding and intervention strategies to facilitate positive change, history, accepted assessment methods to identify students with the disorder, and various methods, medications, and strategies currently used. For situations where a student needs services beyond what you can provide, learn referral process for getting help. Reference materials include list of resources for both teachers and parents who would like more help or information. View the course syllabus.

Autism & Asperger's Disorders: Information & Effective Interventions (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Describes autism and Asperger’s Disorder, including characteristics, associated learning styles, communication weaknesses, and various intervention strategies. Helps you make sense out of why individuals with autism spectrum disorders act the way they do, and what you can do to enhance more appropriate behavior. Also lists resources for educators, related service personnel, and parents who want more help or information. View the course syllabus.

Behavior is Language: Strategies for Managing Disruptive Behavior (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Gain new perspective on student behavior and effective tools to facilitate positive change. Provides developmental framework to understand what students are trying to tell you through the “language” of their behavior. Learn behavioral techniques and intervention strategies that remediate disruptive behaviors, reduce power struggles while increasing classroom control, reduce your workload, and help prevent burn out. View the course syllabus.

Child Abuse: Working with Abused & Neglected Children (COUN/ED-CIFS/ED-ECS)

Designed to help you identify and effectively teach students affected by child abuse and/or neglect. Teaches you to recognize the signs of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect in students. Discusses specific factors that exist in families who abuse or neglect their children with an emphasis on understanding the special learning needs of the abused or neglected child and how to meet those needs in the regular classroom. Working with parents and community agencies is also emphasized. View the course syllabus.

Drugs & Alcohol in Schools: Understanding Substance Use & Abuse (COUN)

Gain more comprehensive understanding of alcohol, drugs, and influences in classroom. Provides contextual framework for understanding what students may be experiencing either through their own substance use or from the substance use of persons close to them and basic historical perspective of substance use along with the biological, psychological, and social factors that comprise the disease of addiction. View the course syllabus.

Educational Assessment: Assessing Student Learning (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

This course is designed to further develop the conceptual and technical skills required by teachers to help them identify their educational goals, and implement meaningful instructional strategies for effective learning by students with special needs. The focus of this course will therefore be on assessment for instructional programming. The course will outline procedures for designing or selecting, administering and interpreting, a variety of informal assessment measures typically used in schools. The presentation of assessment information in an acceptable format to parents and teachers will also be addressed. View the course syllabus.

Ethics & Safety in Education: Guidelines for Teachers & Administrators (ED-CIFS)

Ethics & Safety in Education is a prevention course developed to help educators reduce and eliminate violations of ethics and professional conduct codes. The course is intended to keep ethical teachers ethical and to be a part of a larger school district plan to protect the district’s teachers, staff, and students. The course’s central premise is that the vast majority of ethics and boundary violations occurring in schools today are being committed by competent and ethical educators who, for reasons to be discussed, are making very poor decisions during susceptible periods in their careers. All professionals have the potential to commit an ethics/boundary violation. Understanding and addressing educators’ violation potential before a violation occurs is essential in protecting students, careers, and the teaching profession’s integrity. It is easier to anticipate and not commit a violation than to correct one after the fact. View the course syllabus.

Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools (COUN)

Harassment, Bullying & Cyber-Intimidation in Schools will discuss definitions and the personal, social, and legal ramifications associated with sexual harassment, bullying, and cyber-intimidation. The course will address what we know about these troubling areas. We will then explore preventative strategies as well as how school staff can address these issues when they occur. A clear understanding of what constitutes harassment and the harmful effects of harassment on people and institutions is essential to providing a safe and inclusive school environment for all. View the course syllabus.

Inclusion: Working with Special Needs Students in the Mainstream Classroom (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Designed to help special and general educators gain better understanding of inclusion, a current educational reform movement advocating educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Defines key concepts and terms, identifies and describes federal legislature and court cases, and lists and describes federal definition of students entitled to special services. Identifies roles and responsibilities of educators in providing special services to students educated in inclusive classrooms. View the course syllabus.

Infant and Toddler Mental Health (ED-ECS)

This course will cover: infant and toddler mental health; strategies to promote positive relationships with children and their families; role identity as a child care provider, educator, and early childhood professional; research-based information on child development, attachment, temperament, and curriculum; helpful resources information about infant and toddler mental health. View the course syllabus.

Why D.I.? Introduction to Differentiated Instruction (ED-CIFS)

In this course you will learn what is meant by Differentiated Instruction (DI) and the common myths associated with creating the differentiated classroom. Discussions address legal, theoretical and pedagogical foundations in the field of education that support the utilization of differentiated instructional practices and principles. View the course syllabus.

Learning Disabilities: Practical Information for the Classroom Teacher (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Describes diverse theoretical approaches to handling learning disabilities in the classroom. Taught by Dr. Bob Pillay and lays the foundation for sensitive, appropriate assessment and evaluation of students. Covers program planning and implementation, stresses the importance of a close, positive partnership with parents or alternative caregivers, and explores methods for ensuring that the home/school axis is effective and meaningful. Also covers major trends and unresolved issues in the field of learning disabilities. View the course syllabus.

Try D.I.? Planning and Preparing a Differentiated Instruction Program (ED-CIFS)

Try DI! is designed to provide you an opportunity to learn about an instructional framework, Differentiated Instruction (DI), aimed at creating supportive learning environments for diverse learning populations. Students will be presented a method for self-assessment of the extent to which their current instructional approach reflects the perspective, principles, and practices of the DI approach. The course reflects an approach that aligns the principles of DI with the practices of DI. The concept of a “theory of action” will also be provided within a DI context.

The course has also been designed to introduce students to a range of strategies associated with a DI approach. Strategies included in this course have been selected on the basis that they are effective in the widest possible range of educational K-12 settings. This course follows Why DI?: An Introduction to Differentiated Instruction, which addressed the What, Why, and Who of a classroom that reflects a DI approach. The focus of Try DI!: Planning & Preparing a Differentiated Instruction Program is on the When, Where, and How of the DI approach. View the course syllabus.

Reading Fundamentals I (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Effective reading instruction giving background on Reading First as it applies to No Child Left Behind legislation. Review research as it applies to phonetically based instruction, assessment, and evaluation. Explore misconceptions concerning reading instruction and remediation. Present an evaluation checklist to assess the effectiveness of current reading program. View the course syllabus.


It is recommended that the Reading Fundamentals courses be taken sequentially; however, it is not mandatory that all three courses be taken.

Reading Fundamentals II (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Second in a three-course series, this course continues to lay the foundation for effective reading instruction. This course will: teach effective elements of instruction; describe reading theories/models; provide information on reading psychology and development; discuss key legislation that affects reading. View the course syllabus.


It is recommended that the Reading Fundamentals courses be taken sequentially; however, it is not mandatory that all three courses be taken.

Reading Fundamentals III (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Course will focus on: learning to read, reading to learn, and an introduction to reading assessment; five elements of effective reading instruction; information on teacher preparation in learning about comprehension strategy instruction and reading instruction; how to integrate computer technology into the classroom and conduct pivotal curriculum-based measurement procedures. View the course syllabus.


It is recommended that the Reading Fundamentals courses be taken sequentially; however, it is not mandatory that all three courses be taken.

Talented & Gifted: Working with High Achievers (ED-CIFS)

Provides information on history of the exceptional in relation to education, current law, and accepted methods for referral, assessment, and identification of these students. Covers major program models, methods of differentiating instruction to meet the rate and level of learning, an understanding of ways to meet the affective needs of those students identified, and lists resources for teachers and parents who would like more information. View the course syllabus.

Teaching Diversity: Influences & Issues in the Classroom (ED-ECS/ED-SPED)

Designed to give you the knowledge, tools and dispositions to effectively facilitate a diverse classroom and to understand and identify differences in approaches to learning and performance, including different learning styles and ways in which students demonstrate learning. Emphasizes understanding how student learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, disabilities, gender, language, culture, family and community values. Challenges you to apply knowledge of the richness of contributions from our diverse society to your teaching field. View the course syllabus.

Teaching Elementary Math Conceptually: A New Paradigm (ED-CIFS)

Teaching Elementary Math Conceptually is designed to expand your methodology for teaching Mathematics. The course will explore an innovative teaching model that incorporates strategies for teaching concepts, constructively and contextually. The goal is for you to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts of various math topics and explore the principles of teaching those concepts to learners. This course will focus on the topics of number sense, basic operations, and fractions. View the course syllabus.

Traumatized Child: Effects of Stress & Trauma on Learning (COUN)

Designed to help you recognize the signs, identify and effectively teach students affected by stress, trauma, and/or violence. Discusses specific factors that exist in families and communities where stress and violence are common with an emphasis on special learning needs of the affected student and how to meet his/her needs in the regular classroom. Working with parents and community agencies is also emphasized. View the course syllabus.

Understanding Aggression: Coping with Aggressive Behavior in the Classroom (COUN)

Designed to help school personnel become more aware of the causes of aggression and ways to evaluate and intervene before the aggression turns to violence in the schools. Includes topics on violence, aggression in the classroom, youth gangs, aggression in sports and on television, how drugs and alcohol play a role in aggression and violence, and “hot spots” that tend to breed aggression and violence. This course also speaks about aggression in our communities in the realms of driving, dating, sports, television, and music, and how these issues are dealt with in modern society. View the course syllabus.

Understanding and Implementing Common Core Standards (ED-CIFS)

This course, Understanding & Implementing Common Core Standards, has been divided into four chapters. The organization of the course covers the rationale for and design of the Common Core State Standards, the “Common Core Mindset” practitioners need for successful implementation, and what specific actions can be taken for deeper implementation across settings. View the course syllabus.

Violence in Schools: Identification, Prevention, Intervention (COUN)

Develop better understanding of school violence and increase intervention strategies. Provides overview of violence and motivational purposes behind aggression. Investigates correlation and impact of the media, community, and family upon violence. Learn identification and intervention approaches to working with out-of-control behaviors. Receive information about the national resources available for both parents and teachers. View the course syllabus.