Skip to main content

Course Overview

Creating Classroom Structure

May 9, 2022 - August 19, 2022

Many individuals with autism thrive in a structured, predictable environment. Simple structural supports that benefit those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit all students in the classroom. By completing this online course, you will learn a variety of strategies, including visual and structural supports for the classroom environment to use with students with ASD.

  • Registration Instructions
  • Course registration is a two-step process: 1) Register on AIM and 2) Register and pay on Ashland University's system. Once you have completed this two-step process, this course will be available to you on AIM at the start of the semester, May 9, 2022.

    If you have questions about this course or the registration process, please contact the course instructor, Amy Bixler-Coffin at
  • Registration Details
  • Course registration open May 2, 2022 - July 30, 2022
  • 1-Credit course costs $225 paid to Ashland University
  • Login to Register
Course Modules

Comprehensive Program Planning for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Estimated Time to Complete: 3 hours

Comprehensive Program Planning (CPP) is a process that encourages parents and professionals to work collaboratively to address the multi-faceted needs of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The process empowers a team to develop an individualized intervention plan based upon underlying deficits and student strengths, which is then implemented throughout the school day, and across all school settings. This module will provide an overview of the CPP process and some tools that can be used as teams work to complete the development of a comprehensive plan for a student with ASD.

Home Base

Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes

It is common for individuals to experience anxiety and stress when dealing with daily life. However, for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), daily situations can result in significant stress and anxiety. In addition, individuals with ASD have difficulty self-regulating emotions and stress levels. Therefore, they need specific, tailored strategies to help them cope and regulate their emotional state. Home base is one such strategy or, more specifically, an environmental structure that provides support. This module will provide information on the self-regulating strategy Home Base.

Rules and Routines

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

Defined rules and routines are important components of educational programming for all students, but particularly for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), whose learning differences may present challenges in understanding expectations. This module presents strategies for designing and implementing rules and routines to support students with ASD and promote success in school, home, work, and the community.

Structured Teaching

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

Structured teaching is a visually based approach to creating highly structured environments that support individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in a variety of educational, community, and home/living settings. Structured teaching is associated with the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped CHildren (TEACCH). The goal is to create an environment that promotes independence. This module will define and describe the evidence-based practice structured teaching.

Structured Work Systems and Activity Organization

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) thrive in well-organized classrooms. Environments that provide clear expectations and predictable routines promote increased engagement and on-task behavior. Creating such environments often involves the use of individual work systems. Structured work systems are primary components of structured teaching and are visually structured sequences that provide opportunities to practice previously taught skills, concepts, or activities. This module defines the evidence-based practice of structured work systems and provides specific examples for use.

Supporting Successful Completion of Homework

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

The purpose of this module is to assist parents and teachers in finding the right balance for a successful homework experience for a particular learner with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Attention will be given to the study environment, scheduling, strategies, the building of documentation, and home-to-school/school-to-home communication. Some strategies and tools to address unique challenges of learners with ASD in the areas of organization, sensory needs, and academic differences are provided.

Task Analysis

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 hours

Task analysis is the process of breaking a skill into smaller, more manageable steps in order to teach the skill. As the smaller steps are mastered, the learner becomes increasingly independent in his or her ability to perform the larger skill. This module will provide information on task analysis.

The Incredible 5-Point Scale

Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulties with social competence and understanding how their behavior impacts themselves and others. In addition, they frequently battle with anxiety and have difficulty regulating their emotions and stress levels. As a result, they repeatedly struggle in social situations. The behavioral support known as the Incredible 5-Point Scale provides a visual representation of social behaviors, emotions, and abstract ideas. It is a simple scale used to teach social understanding. This module provides information on this promising practice.

Transitioning Between Activities

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

Transitions are a part of everyday life. They occur frequently, requiring individuals to stop an activity, move from one location to another, or begin something new. Transitions can be challenging for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This module will provide promising practices in transition strategies with specific examples that may be used as models for developing transition interventions for your learner with ASD.

Visual Supports

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) learn in a variety of different ways, but research has shown that they demonstrate strength in visual learning. To play on this strength, parents and professionals have developed visual supports for individuals with ASD. Visual supports organize a sequence of events, enhancing the student's ability to understand, anticipate, and participate in those events. This module will define visual supports, discuss how they might be used across settings, and provide specific examples that can be used to accommodate individuals with ASD.

Creating Classroom Structure Course Post-Assessment

Post-assessment for Creating Classroom Structure course.