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Course Overview

Creating Classroom Structure

May 6, 2024 - August 16, 2024

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 6, 2024.

    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 April 15, 2024 - July 19, 2024
  • 1-Credit course costs $225 paid to Ashland University
  • Login to Register
Course Modules

Comprehensive Program Planning for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Estimated Time to Complete: 3 hours

To help individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) achieve the best life possible, comprehensive program planning is necessary. As the prevalence of ASD continues to increase, the pressure on professionals to meet the complex needs of these individuals has increased in equal measure.

Structured Break Area (formerly Home Base)

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

It is common for most individuals to experience anxiety and stress throughout their daily life. However, for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), daily situations can result in significant emotional stress and anxiety. In addition, individuals with ASD have difficulty self-regulating emotions, stress levels, and very often, sensory overstimulation from the environment. When this occurs, they may benefit from an area designed with specific, tailored strategies to help them cope and regulate their emotional state. A Structured Break Area is an environmental area that provides support. This module will provide information on the importance of Structured Break Areas, when an individual might need to utilize the area, as well as how to design an area in the home, school, work, and community environments.

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 - Updated

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 1/2 hours

Structured teaching is a visually based approach to creating highly structured environments that support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (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 structured teaching.

Structured Work Systems and Activity Organization - Updated

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (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 visually structured sequences of tasks and activities that provide opportunities to practice previously taught skills and concepts.

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 - Updated

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 hour

Autistic individuals often have difficulties with social competence and understanding how their behavior impacts themselves and others. Likewise, neurotypical people often have difficulties with understanding the autistic person's reactions and responses. As a result, social interactions can suffer. The educational support known as the Incredible 5-Point Scale provides a visual representation of social and emotional concepts and abstract ideas. It is a simple scale used to teach social understanding and emotional regulation.

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: 2 1/2 hours

People with autism tend to have strengths in visual recognition and perception (Mayes & Calhoun, 2008; Meilleur, et al, 2014). Due to these strengths, visual supports, an evidence-based practice, help to make the world, including the environment, instructions, academics, social situations, emotional and behavioral interventions, more clear to an individual with autism. This AIM will explain what visual supports (VS) are, how to create them, and when and how to use them.

Creating Classroom Structure Course Post-Assessment

Post-assessment for Creating Classroom Structure course.