Professional Development at ACC This system has been replaced by Workday.
Please click here to be forwarded.
The information in this system is now read-only and will be available through Dec 31,2021.
Austin Community College Home Page
Log in Teaching Complex Topics

Hours: 3

This online course is provided by, which ACC has an institutional subscription, so there is no charge to take the course. Below is the course description and following that are the instructions for how to access the course on

Teaching Complex Topics

Teaching is more than just delivering content; it's about making complex ideas understandable and guiding learners to higher-order thinking. A successful approach to teaching complex topics involves three phases: systematically unpacking the material, turning it into engaging and effective lessons, and then providing extra assistance to students who are struggling. Combined with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles for making learning accessible, you can maximize student engagement and achievement—with even the most complex subjects.

Karin Hutchinson is an experienced teacher who now helps other educators find new ways to teach. She starts off this course with a quick overview of learning theory, focusing on how students gain new knowledge. These theories set the stage for Karin's framework for making learning accessible to a variety of learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), making lessons engaging with gamification and choice, and scaffolding instruction to help guide learners who need extra help. Watch to explore strategies for planning instruction, how to respond to learners, and get resources you can put into action in the classroom today..

Topics include:
- Understanding what makes a topic complex
- Using a unit planner
- Writing essential questions
- Identifying what students must do
- Anticipating potential problems
- Creating assessments
- Lesson planning via UDL
- Representing information in different ways
- Engaging students
- Having students act on and express their knowledge
- Scaffolding

Taking courses on

To set up your account and access courses on, follow the instructions at:

Once you have logged on to, enter “Teaching Complex Topics” in the search bar at the top of the screen. Select the course.

To receive credit for completion of a course:
1. Log on to
2. Use the drop down menu for your account (by your first name in the upper right corner of the screen) and select “Certificates”.
3. Find the completed course you are claiming credit for. Select the “View/Print” link to the right of that course listing.
4. A new window should appear displaying your completion certificate. Select “Save as PDF” in the upper left of that window.
5. Attach your saved certificate PDF file to an email and send it to Be sure to include your name and ACC ID# in the body of the email message.

Date Time Location Presenter


© 2002- 2007 Austin Community College
Comments and Feedback