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Student Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Motivation

LDN 638—Student Engagement, Self-Regulation, and Motivation

This course is the part of the online professional certificate program in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity (LDN) offered by Landmark College (with specializations in “Executive Function” or “Autism and Online”).

Course Description:

One of the most perplexing challenges educators face is how to effectively motivate students. Relatedly, how do we do we promote self-directed learning in our students? In this course, we will use the broad construct of self-regulation as a framework for addressing these questions in diverse learners, including students with a learning disability, executive function (EF) challenges, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder, or with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants in the course will examine a range of strategies and systems to support, actualize, and sustain student engagement. Specific topics covered include: encouraging growth mindsets and persistence, developing meta-cognition and self-advocacy skills, and promoting overall student wellness (including nutrition, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction).


This is an 8-week online course. Each week is a module that includes a variety of resources, readings, online discussions, and multimedia activities designed to engage participants in the course content. The course also includes 6 weekly online synchronous sessions (live group video discussions) scheduled primarily in the evenings (Eastern Time). We will make every attempt to accommodate individual schedules, but participants should plan on attending at least 5 of the 6 synchronous sessions. The course uses Canvas as its Learning Management System (LMS). Registered participants will be provided with details to log on during the week before the start of classes.

Graduate Credit:

Three graduate credits will be awarded per course for students achieving a grade of 80% or greater.

Course Objectives:

The course objectives align with professional standards in the field of LD, specifically the standards for special educators established by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). We have chosen to align to the “Advanced” set of Preparation Standards, as this higher-level set of standards more closely matches the level of content and expertise required of a graduate level course in the field. The CEC Advanced Preparation Standards are linked here, or can be found on the CEC’s website:

Course Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

CEC Advanced Preparation Standard

1. Articulate principles of self-regulation and motivation.

2.0, 2.2, 2.3

2. Debate and discuss current evidence-based motivational practices, including Landmark College’s approach to motivating diverse learners.

2.2, 2.3
4.1, 4.2

3. Identify and apply strategies, including innovative and emerging trends, for engaging disaffected students.

2.2, 2.3
3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4

4. Describe effective practices and strategies that support student wellness as a means of increasing motivation.

3.3, 3.4

4.1, 4.2

5. Evaluate their own professional development within the context of this course with respect to practical applications and lessons learned.

5.4, 5.5



Course Outline:

  • Week 1: Executive Function and Self-Regulation
    1. Introductions: Student and Instructor Self-Introductions
    2. A model of Executive Function (Brown Model)
    3. Self-Regulation: Background and Theory
      1. Importance of Self-Regulation
    4. Practical application(s): Emotional regulation techniques
  • Week 2: Motivation
    1. Selected Theories of Motivation
      1. Intrinsic vs. extrinsic
      2. Seeking behavior (Panksepp)
    2. Measuring motivation
    3. Fostering motivation: In and out of the classroom
      1. Practical application: Self-advocacy as motivator
  • Week 3: Metacognition
    1. Understanding metacognition
      1. What it is and why should we care about it?
      2. A brief review of empirical evidence supporting the use of metacognition
    2. Practical application(s): Metacognitive tools
      1. EF Skills Questionnaire
      2. Motivational Interviewing
      3. Cognitive wrappers
  • Week 4: Fostering Motivation
    1. Habits, routines, and goal setting
    2. Employing a Coaching Mindset
    3. Practical application(s): Instilling motivational habits in students
      1. Technology tools
      2. Using the “Neurotracker” to promote self-awareness and implement goals
      3. SMART goals
  • Week 5: Motivational Blockers
    1. Stress & Anxiety
    2. Stereotype threat
    3. Sleep hygiene and sleep deprivation
    4. Practical application(s)
      1. Reducing stereotype threat
      2. Using sleep hygiene surveys
  • Week 6: Promoting Wellness to Overcome Motivational Blockers
    1. Exercise
      1. Practical application: Tips for promoting exercise
    2. Mindfulness meditation
      1. Practical application: Easy ways to implement meditation tools
    3. Nutrition
    4. Reducing stress
      1. Practical application: Fostering student resiliency
  • Week 7: From Motivation to Engagement
    1. The power of growth mindsets
      1. Practical application: Simple tips and strategies for instill growth mindsets
    2. The Four Domains of Learning: A useful tool for engaging learners
    3. Personalized Education
      1. Practical application: New technologies for engaging students
  • Week 8: Final Project and Synthesis
    1. Putting it all together
      1. Sustaining self-regulation, motivation, and engagement
    2. Final Project


Module Format

Each module will follow a similar format:

Objectives—Each Module will start by articulating the objectives for that Module. The objectives will list anticipated learning of the topics that will be addressed in each Module.
Activators [Graded]—These are designed to help to create a community of learners within this course, to understand each other’s perspectives, and to engage in a discourse. Activators will be posed at the start of each module as a query or a scenario to get us thinking about the topic as a group. You will post your own insights, observations, and respond to at least two other posts.
Learning Activities—Learning Activities serve as instructional content for the module topics. Examples of content include: viewing instructor narrated PowerPoint slides, reading academic and “popular press” style articles, viewing videos from Landmark College and external experts, and more.
Conferences [Graded]—Conferences are the synchronous meeting portion of the course. During this time, we will address queries and points to ponder for discussion with the instructor and your fellow course mates. These live discussions will be hosted via Canvas Conference tool.
Challenges [Graded]—Challenges are activities meant to synthesize what you have learned in each module and apply to your specific educational environment.
Additional Resources—A resource repository on EF, Motivation, Self-Regulation, Engagement, and LD will be created and added to by all members of this learning community. Recommendations to this forum is not graded, but regular contributions to this section can result in 5 extra grade points for the course.

Learn more about Landmark College’s certificate program in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity

Certificate Program Overview

Course Descriptions

Certificate Program Pricing & FAQ


Still have questions? Give us a call or email us at:

Landmark College Institute for Research and Training
(802) 387-1662


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