Features of Explicit Instruction Course Content

Features of Explicit Instruction Course Content

NCII, through a collaboration with the University of Connecticut and the National Center on Leadership in Intensive Intervention and with support from the CEEDAR Center, developed course content focused on enhancing educators’ skills in using explicit instruction. This course includes four modules that can support faculty and professional development providers with instructing pre-service and in-service educators who are learning to implement explicit instruction. This course is designed for users with background knowledge in intensive intervention and data-based individualization (DBI). Although it was originally delivered as part of a larger course on intensive intervention that was piloted in Bristol Warren Regional School District, it also can be presented as a standalone course. Need additional content to lay the foundation for DBI? Click here.

Explicit instruction is defined as “a way of teaching where the teacher selects an important objective, specifies the learning outcome, designs structured instructional experiences, explains directly, models the skills being taught, and provides scaffolded practice to help a student achieve mastery” (Kearns, 2018). Explicit instruction was recently identified as a high-leverage practice in special education, and there is a strong evidence base for its use. This course provides learners with an opportunity to extend their understanding of explicit instruction through in-depth exposure to the explicit instruction model and supporting practices required for effective implementation.

Modules 5-8: Features of Explicit Instruction Course Content

For questions related to course content, please contact ncii@air.org

Resources to Build Background Knowledge of Intensive Intervention & DBI

Originally, the modules on explicit instruction were developed as part of a larger course that introduced educators to intensive intervention through data-based individualization (DBI). Content for the first four modules was delivered in person to provide a foundation in DBI before focusing on how explicit instruction can support educators providing instruction within a DBI process. Below are resources currently available from NCII that address the concepts covered in the first four modules.

Module 1: Introduction to Intensive Intervention

Module 2: Progress Monitoring

Module 3: Diagnostic Assessment

Module 4: Using the Taxonomy of Intervention Intensity to Select or Understand a Validated Intervention Platform and Make Adaptations

Related Course Content


To Be Clear: What Every Educator Needs to Know About Explicit Instruction


CEC Standards Addressed


Suggested Reading List

Tip Sheet

Coaching Tip Sheet


RESET Explicit Instruction Rubric

Course Content Home


Course content can be “flipped,” allowing for participants to practice learned content in the classroom after independently viewing a course lecture video. Course instructors/coaches can incorporate a variety of practice-based opportunities including: video analysis, microteaching, virtual simulations, and/or lesson studies to ensure ample time for feedback and reflection prior to classroom application.

Our sincerest appreciation to the educators in Bristol Warren Regional School District in Rhode Island for their enthusiasm, time, energy, and commitment to piloting this course content. View our Voices from Field Video to hear from one of the participating teachers.